The Sea Garden

The Sea Garden

Book - 2014
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Near the end of World War II, Marthe, a young blind woman apprenticed at a perfume factory in Nazi-occupied Provence, finds herself at the center of a Resistance cell. Iris, a junior British intelligence officer in wartime London, falls for a French agent. Years later, on the lush Mediterranean island of Porquerolles off the French coast, Ellie has been hired to restore a memorial garden. She is unsettled by the bitterness of the garden's owner, an elderly woman who seems intent on undermining her. A vivid chronicle of love and loss in the fog of war.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : HarperCollins, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062279668
0062279661
Branch Call Number: Fiction Law
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 24 cm

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j
jazpur
Jun 21, 2018

The subject matter for Deborah Lawrenson's second book was an interesting take on espionage and the French resistance in WWII as it related to members of a family in the second decade of the 21st century on both sides of the English Channel and beyond. Well researched and written but the aura of sadness was all-pervasive as the mystery eventually unravelled.

d
dnk
Feb 03, 2018

This is better seen as three parts of the same story told from different angles rather than standalone novellas. Of the three, only the second is truly self-contained; it provides useful information that informs the other two but doesn't need them to tell it's story. Please keep that in mind as you read; I was very frustrated by the ending of the first book but satisfied by the end.
Poor Ellie Brooke perhaps wasn't surprised to feel herself pulled into a world haunted by death from the very first page of the story, but that she felt herself literally haunted was the surprise. Why had the seeming bon vivant Laurent summon her all the way from England to restore his garden in modern-day Porquerolles, and why did his mother regard her with such antipathy from the first? It's not hard to figure out what happened to Ellie and what-or who-is going to follow us into the next story, but the question is why.
The second novel follows blind Marthe Lincel as she bravely works to use her gifts mixing scents for the kindly Mussets into something useful for the French Resistance. She is blessed with bravery and integrity; her weaknesses are, as for everyone else, other people: whom can she trust, and how can she protect those she cares for without harming others. Worse, how can she go on after a painful loss? Of all three stories, this was the one that moved me the most.
The final story follows Iris Nightingale from the 1940s to the present day, and here all the strands come together. Iris works for British Intelligence, helping the French Resistance coordinate intelligence with the larger effort. Pragmatic and competent despite her young age, she nevertheless finds herself swept up into a romance with a head-on is it reckless?- French agent. Tracking down what became of him and her later resignation that she'll never know us just one of the meanings behind the title "The Shadow Life". Iris will eventually get her answers, but is the cost worth the truth?
This spooky tale of romantic suspense had a slow build that made the ending more satisfying even if many of the connections were easy to spot. I would recommend this to fans of historical romance as well as paranormal suspense

l
lgraf
Jan 12, 2017

What an excellent book! Anyone who is interested in the French Resistance & secret British operations during WWII will love this work of fiction based on actual fact. Three short stories who ultimately are tied together. Couldn't put it down!!!

cayuga60 Sep 14, 2014

Beautifully written, holds the reader's attention right to the end. Not to be missed, especially for those interested in Provence and the WWII resistance.

SpringAltman Jul 03, 2014

Three short novellas are woven together to create a WW2 saga.
This was a brilliantly written book, that
was a favorite for me and I think would be an excellent book club pick

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SpringAltman Jul 03, 2014

Thy word is a lantern unto my feet and a light upon my path

SpringAltman Jul 03, 2014

It was a time that marked us for life

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SpringAltman Jul 03, 2014

Three Novellas:
The Sea Garden,
The Lavendar Field, and
A shadow life tell the story of many, that are ultimately connected in an unexpected way.
It tells the story of a gifted garden cultivator, a blind girl helping in the French Resistance during WW2, and
a British WW2 double agent.
All three stories are woven together
brilliantly to create a great book.

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