The Sea Garden
The Sea Garden consists of three novelettes. Book one, “The Sea Garden,” is set in the present day, where we find an award-winning gardener, Ellie, traveling to a small French island. She has accepted a position restoring the expansive gardens of an old chateau to their former glory. The elderly man and his ancient, eccentric mother make her feel uncomfortable, and Ellie finds herself drawn to a mysterious stranger in the nearby village. Book two, “The Lavender Field,” introduces us to Victor and Mme Musset, who distill perfumes from the flowers that surround their Provençal home in 1944. They are also part of the French Resistance, aiding British agents as well as downed pilots during France’s occupation by the German army. Book three follows the dangerous life of Iris, who has a command of the German and French languages, combined with an uncanny ability to analyze people. This makes her a perfect candidate for the British Secret Service office during WWII. She is part of a team that gathers intelligence about all aspects of occupied France and works with teams of agents being sent there. It is lovely how these three seemingly unrelated stories come together at the end of the third novelette.
I enjoy a good WWII historical novel, and this one did not disappoint, even though novelettes are so condensed that I find that they end just as I am getting involved with the story. The author shows a nice palette of how lives changed and people found themselves in very different situations due having the war in their own backyard. She has many details to share with readers, and I am impressed by her research to bring these people alive for me. I would recommend this book.