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Originally published as The Lavender Garden.

The Light Behind The Window by Riley, Lucinda on 30/08/2012 unknown edition -

This is the second book by Lucinda Riley that I have read and I enjoyed this one more than Hothouse Flower (U.S. title The Orchid House). This is another split-time novel, part of which is again set during WWII.

 

In 1943, Constance Carruthers, with her husband missing in action, trains to become an agent for the Special Operations Executive. Her plans to make a difference behind the scenes are shattered when her contacts fail and she finds herself living an alias in the mansion of Edouard de la Marinieres and his sister, Sophie. He is leading a double life and she must play along in the charade.

 

The present day story involves Emilie de la Marinieres, who has travelled to France to sort out the mansion she inherited on her mother's death. She must decide whether to sell it to pay her mother's debts, or find some other way out of the mess she finds herself in. Enter a knight in shining armour, in the person of Stephen Carruthers, an art expert who offers to help her find buyers for the art works.

 

You will already have spotted the similar names and Ms Riley weaves a complicated story around these four characters and their connections. There is also a fifth character who plays a significant part, Stephen's house-bound brother in Scotland.

 

A well written novel with excellent characters that dropped a star because I found Emilie just a bit too pathetic and gullible, Otherwise, well worth the read.