The Sea Garden: A Novel

Romance, suspense, and World War II mystery are woven together in three artfully linked novellas rich in drama and steeped in atmosphere from the critically acclaimed author of The LanternTHE SEA GARDENOn the lush Mediterranean island of Porquerolles off the French coast, Ellie Brooke, an award winning British landscape designer, has been hired to restore a memorial gardenRomance, suspense, and World War II mystery are woven together in three artfully linked novellas rich in drama and steeped in atmosphere from the critically acclaimed author of The LanternTHE SEA GARDENOn the lush Mediterranean island of Porquerolles off the French coast, Ellie Brooke, an award winning British landscape designer, has been hired to restore a memorial garden Unsettled by its haunted air and the bitterness of the garden s owner, an elderly woman who seems intent on undermining her, Ellie finds that her only ally on the island is an elusive war historianTHE LAVENDER FIELDNear the end of World War II, Marthe Lincel, a young blind woman newly apprenticed at a perfume factory in Nazi occupied Provence, finds herself at the center of a Resistance cell When tragedy strikes, she faces the most difficult choice of her life and discovers a breathtaking courage she never expected.A SHADOW LIFEIris Nightingale, a junior British intelligence officer in wartime London, falls for a French agent But after a secret landing in Provence results in terrible Nazi reprisals, he vanishes When France is liberated, Iris is determined to uncover the truth Was he the man he claimed to be Ingeniously interconnected, this spellbinding triptych weaves three parallel narratives into one unique tale of love, mystery, and murder The Sea Garden is a vivid and absorbing chronicle of love and loss in the fog of war and a penetrating and perceptive examination of the impulses and circumstances that shape our lives.
The Sea Garden A Novel Romance suspense and World War II mystery are woven together in three artfully linked novellas rich in drama and steeped in atmosphere from the critically acclaimed author of The LanternTHE SEA GARD

  • Title: The Sea Garden: A Novel
  • Author: Deborah Lawrenson
  • ISBN: 9780062279682
  • Page: 414
  • Format: ebook
  • 1 thought on “The Sea Garden: A Novel”

    1. The Sea Garden is what I categorise as a past-and-present novel, one with multiple narratives set in different time periods which are meant to intersect in some way. Breaking with recent tradition, Deborah Lawrenson's new book is formatted as three separate novellas, rather than relating the different stories in alternate chapters. The first is about Ellie Brooke, a landscape gardener who travels to the French island of Porquerolles (in the 'present day') to work on a coastal memorial garden for [...]

    2. DNFHaving loved The Lantern, I was excited to try another by Lawrenson.Sadly, this one just didn't *take* for me, although the writing was good and the plotline is one I generally enjoy. Who knows why these things happen, but they do.Oh well, I certainly wouldn't discourage others from reading this one.

    3. I reviewed this book for luxuryreading.When I read Deborah Lawrenson’s debut novel The Lantern a few years ago I was swept away with her ability to transport the reader to the vibrant lavender fields of France and to spin a story that not only grabs the reader with its taut mystery and brilliant characters but with its sensory-drenched descriptions. Needless to say I have been excitedly waiting for Ms. Lawrenson to come out with her next book. I’m happy to say that The Sea Garden, a collecti [...]

    4. I simply loved this book. It is divided into three novellas which weave together seamlessly at the end. The writing is simply beautiful in evoking time and place as the storyline travels between past and present.The story itself is compelling as it is weaved around historical fact which gives it weight and poignancy and the thread of perfume which weaves it's way from The Lantern through The Sea Garden is prose to savour.The novel unfolds gently with a growing sense of mystery which gathers pace [...]

    5. Review Posted on Reading Lark 5/28/14: readinglark/2014/I sat down to write this review mere moments after finishing this novel. As I try to gather my thoughts, I am overwhelmed by the awe and beauty of this one. Lawrenson has managed to not only craft a compelling historical fiction tale, but she has also added contemporary layers with a hint of mysticism. I was expecting a historical piece with some romance and intrigue that focused on WWII. I certainly got those elements, but this novel is so [...]

    6. My rating: 3.5 of 5 starsPublication Date: June 24th 2014 by HarperI received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.‘In this present hour, there was time for anything to happen, endless time.’The Sea Garden contains three separate novellas that slowly intertwine together. The first novella shares the name of the title and is set in present day. The second and third novellas are all centered arou [...]

    7. I was worried that the story would abruptly end without tying up any of the story lines. Lawrenson managed to pull everything together beautifully. I can't say what happened without giving away details, but I honestly didn't figure out certain story threads until close to the big reveal. I loved this book. Her first, The Lantern, ties into this one. I'm definitely going to be keeping up with her releases from now on. I need to buy this one!

    8. I love a good historical novel especially those set in war-time. Deborah Lawrenson has created a twist on the normal dual time narrative, in this book we have three narratives told up to a point with the denouement linking the three together. This is all helped by the way the author has captured both the time periods but also the different places our narrators are located.Ellie’s story is the longest, set in the present day she visits the island of Porquerolles where she has a commission to re [...]

    9. In establishing her main story as three separate and distinct novellas, Ms. Lawrenson thankfully dispatches with the overused plot device of multiple narrators and multiple time periods. Instead, she creates three full-fleshed separate and distinct stories that are thoroughly enjoyable individually but outstanding when viewing them as a sum of their parts. In so doing, she challenges the reader to remember certain facts and events from one book to the next, but this is never a hardship. The thre [...]

    10. An interesting book. Very interesting. And different. It begins in modern times, with this garden designer traveling to an island off the coast of France to restore a memorial garden. But things go wrong on the boat there, immediately giving the story a sinister feel and it certainly sucked me in and grabbed my attention. A man justwalksoverboard.Yes, you read that right.And then it gets better with things missing and a very strange old ladyd something about this old lady tells me there's someth [...]

    11. I found this very hard to rate, as it is really three stories in one book, and I enjoyed some parts more than others. Lawrenson is wonderful at scene setting, engaging the senses, and historical details. The three novellas don't seem to relate except for some overlap about the French Resistance in World War II, but they are tied together by a common history that we don't discover until very late in the last story. Book One is contemporary, set in 2013, where Ellie, a British garden designer, vis [...]

    12. Since this story is not just a dual narrative but a triple narrative, for the full explanation you’ll want to visit . The first storyline follows a British garden designer hoping a commission on a beautiful island will be her chance to break into the international scene. However, once she realizes that her clients are eccentric and possibly malicious, she’s not sure the job is worth the risk. The second story is that of a young blind woman living in Nazi-occupied France with a difficult deci [...]

    13. Excerpt from my review: It seems a bit silly to start my book review with the fact that I could just be happy sitting and staring at the cover of The Sea Garden. The artwork is gorgeous--as it should be to capture the mood and beauty of Deborah Lawrenson's words. I had the pleasure of reviewing Lawrenson's novel The Lantern a couple of years ago and described it as "lush" and "a book for the senses." The Sea Garden is no different. The author's words paint pictures in the mind--you see the chara [...]

    14. The Sea Garden is a book made of three smaller, interconnected books. The first of these books takes place in 2013 and is about Ellie Brooke, a landscape designer who has been hired to restore a garden on an island off the coast of France. The garden's owner is an elderly woman that gives Ellie the heebie jeebies and Ellie isn't sure she wants to have anything to do with the woman or the garden. This part of the book was my least favorite. It was too detailed in speaking of the gardens, which di [...]

    15. This was really disappointing. The first story was straight up dreadful, the supernatural elements were ridiculous and every character was almost cartoon-like in their role. I very nearly gave up.The second book was much better & I found it a quite interesting look at the Resistance movement in the south of France. The characters were much more realistic and finely drawn, this section gave me hope that it all might have been worth my while in the end. The third book started strong, but quick [...]

    16. Almost gave this one 4 stars for the way all three novellas wrapped together by the book's end, but might have to settle for 3 1/2.It took me a while to get into each story, but once I did, I was swept up. I found the WWII/Resistance bits to be very interesting. I had read The Lantern prior to reading this book, and so Marthe was a familiar character. It was nice to read about her life again and her amazing, amazing talents.If you find yourself struggling to get through this book, just keep plow [...]

    17. A couple of years ago I took a gamble on Lawrenson’s last book ‘The Lantern’. It was getting great views but I was put off by the blurb and the cover – I’m not a lover of chick lit and it sounded pretty chicky to me. But I loved it! So when I was able to read a pre-publication review copy of ‘The Sea Garden’ I jumped at the chance. Deborah Lawrenson has an indescribable way of writing beautifully immersive fiction without being over descriptive or literary. Both this and ‘The Lan [...]

    18. Three women with three very different stories all connected by one mystery. Ellie Brooke has been hired to restore a memorial garden on the island of Porquerolles. Her arrival is marred by a shocking tragedy but the job is inspiring. Unfortunately things turn out to be quite different than they seem and the island is both steeped in history and haunted by a dark past. For Marthe, being taken on at the Distillerie Musset is a dream come true. But WWII brings danger to Provence and Nazi occupation [...]

    19. Originally posted on The Book MusingsI love dual narrative stories, but The Sea Garden gives you something unique, at least for me. It’s a triple narrative, but it doesn’t alternate between the three narratives. Instead, she gives us three novellas in one book that are interconnected in some way: The Sea Garden, The Lavender Field and A Shadow Life.The Sea Garden tells the story of Ellie Brooke, a landscape/garden designer who travels to an island called Porquerolles to restore and re-design [...]

    20. 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 its 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 [...]

    21. The Sea Garden encompasses three stories linked by a single mystery in this compelling novel by Deborah Lawrenson that describes love and loss in the tumult of war. The first story is The Sea Garden set in the Mediterranean island of Porquerolles off the French coast. Ellie Brooks, an award-winning British landscape designer, has been hired to restore a memorial garden. On the boat, the inciting force takes place when a man standing close to Ellie suddenly jumps overboard to his death. She is qu [...]

    22. I wish I had read The Lantern first, even though I don't think this book was a sequel. It has one of the characters in it. Anyway, I really liked The Sea Garden, a very indept and spellbinding novel of three stories, linked in a mystery to love and loss in WWII. It's not a quick read, but very engrossing and beautifully written. Love the cover also.From : Romance, suspense, and World War II mystery are woven together in three artfully linked novellas—rich in drama and steeped in atmosphere—f [...]

    23. The Sea GardenByDeborah LawrensonMy " in a nutshell" summaryThis is a three novella book.nning in Provencewith all stories linking. It takes place in the present day as well as during WWII. It has a sense of mystery and sadness trickling through it.My thoughts after reading this bookI don't usually enjoy anything that saysort stories or novellasbut this did not have the feel of a book of short stories really did read like a novel. The first novella was about Elliea landscape designerwho is on a [...]

    24. This book opens engagingly with Ellie, a prize-winning designer of gardens. Called to an island off Southern France, Ellie comes to restore an isolated garden that seems to hide darker mysteries within. In the second section, blind Marthe has found her calling as an apprentice perfumier. This strong young woman becomes involved in France’s Resistance during WWII. And then the third part of the novel opens with Iris, a British spy during WWII, also working to aid the French Resistance. The seco [...]

    25. This is a three story novel, the first: The Sea Garden that takes place on the Mediterranean island of Porquerolles. Ellie Brooke has been requested to use her talent as an award winning British landscape designer. The owner of the garden, an elderly woman seems to be undermining Ellie's efforts. There are mysterious happenings and the ending is unusual. The second: A young blind girl works at a perfume factory in Nazi controlled Provence. Strange things happen around her and she realizes that s [...]

    26. Until the last couple of chapters I wasn't sure what to think about this book. I really enjoyed The Lantern, so I was excited to read The Sea Garden. The second short story's main character is also in The Lantern - and I think if I hadn't read it, I wouldn't have enjoyed the story in the same way. The first story went fairly quickly and so did the second, however; the third was a bit longer - however, I kept feeling like I was reading three unrelated stories. The end did pull things together, bu [...]

    27. The author had many wonderfully descriptive phrases throughout the book: "the boat nosed out into sea glitter and sea spray"; "low, verdant hills berried with red roofs". It helped immerse me into the scenes of the book. The book is really a collection of 3 stories which seem unconnected until the very end of the book. The first story, about the landscape designer was somewhat eerie. She introduced the "elusive war historian" but I never figured out his significance to the story. My favorite of [...]

    28. This is the literary version of a triptych, a painting that has 3 panels, each of which can stand on its own, but which give a fuller picture when viewed all together. The three separate stories, set in different times and places, all come together at the end to complete the picture.The best thing about the book is the wonderful evocation of place the author creates in all three stories. You can almost feel the baking heat of the Mediterranean island, the lavender-scented hillsides of Provence, [...]

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