House of Capet Publishing
Reviewed by Nancy
3 out of 5 stars
A heartbreaking tale about love and loss...
It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France.
Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.
Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.
Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.
Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.
This was a lovely, sad story about the doomed love of Noah Capet and Jeremie Perreault in 1800's France. The writing was wonderfully evocative and I enjoyed the lush descriptions of the French countryside. Noah was naive and reserved, while Jeremie was charming and passionate about everything, especially books. While I can understand that Noah’s tragic past has made him virtually a recluse, at the same time I was frustrated with him throughout most of the book for his paralyzing fear. I wanted him to embrace life, express his feelings, and fall in love.
I went into this knowing it was going to be a tragic love story. And I was OK with that, because sometimes I enjoy reading sad stories that break my heart and allow me the physical and emotional release of a good cry. Sadly, this didn’t deliver.
I liked the slow burn of their relationship, the tentative touches, the sweet kiss, but the love mostly felt one-sided until much later on in the story and what should have been a heart-wrenching ending made little impact, as I was not fully invested in Noah’s character or convinced of his feelings for Jeremie. I was expecting the author to tack on the very predictable Romeo and Juliet ending rather than a realistic open-ended one that hopefully will lead to Noah’s growth.