I’m so pleased to be taking part in the Quercus Blogger Book Club this summer. The Lavender House was my final book for the summer!
Nancy de Freitas is the glue that holds her family together. Caught between her ageing, ailing mother Frances, and her struggling daughter Louise, frequent user of Nancy’s babysitting services, it seems Nancy’s fate is to quietly go on shouldering the burden of responsibility for all four generations. Her divorce four years ago put paid to any thoughts of a partner to share her later years with. Now it looks like her family is all she has.
Then she meets Jim. Smoker, drinker, unsuccessful country singer and wearer of cowboy boots, he should be completely unsuited to the very together Nancy. And yet, there is a real spark.
But Nancy’s family don’t trust Jim one bit. They’re convinced he’ll break her heart, maybe run off with her money – he certainly distracts her from her family responsibilities.
Can she be brave enough to follow her heart? Or will she remain glued to her family’s side and walk away from one last chance for love?
The Lavender House is a contemporary romance where we are shown that romance and love can come to people at any age. Nancy has given up on love after her Husband leaves her for a younger woman. In her sixties she concentrates on her family but when she meets country and western singer Jim she realises that love is something she can believe in.
The problem is her family, they have come to rely on her to be there and help out at the drop of a hat and this puts a huge strain on her fledgling relationship.
Whilst I enjoyed this book, the familial set up was extremely frustrating. I found Nancy’s family selfish and self-centred. I found her Mother cold and distant, her daughter Louise was in short a bitch. She had issues with her marriage and reasons for being anxious and on edge but the pressure she put on Nancy to be at her beck and call to look after her children was totally unreasonable, I kept thinking just hire a bloody babysitter you tight cow!
I also got frustrated with Nancy, I felt like she let her family treat her like a doormat, she never stood up for herself and what she wanted. It made me feel sorry for Jim, even when he was doing silly things, making mistakes I just felt like he was due a pass for all the messing about from her.
I come from a close family, the kind of family where we all do anything for anyone, but we wouldn’t expect anyone else to give up their own happiness for another member of the family. I felt the dynamics in Nancy’s family were all wrong and just really uncomfortable to read.
This was, however, a wonderful novel and a great contemporary romance, and I imagine it mirrors many real life stories in many ways which made it even more beautiful. Waiting to see if Nancy and Jim could find their way to love was painful but also enjoyable, and this is a great story about people finding love in their mid-life.
A huge thanks to Hilary Boyd and Quercus for the ARC via Quercus Summer so that I could read and honestly review this book.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Title: The Lavender House
Author: Hilary Boyd
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance | Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: 4 August 2016
Review Format: Hardcover
Other Formats: eBook | Audio | Paperback
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Nook | Kobo | iBooks