New Book – The Lavender Keeper by Fiona McIntosh


Publishing year: 2012


After reading a chunk of “The French Promise”, I realized that it was a sequel to a previous book. So I’ve put aside the book for a while to read the first book. I hate it when this happens because now I know things about the characters that I should have liked to discover at the right time.

In The Lavender Keeper we are introduced to Luke in 1942. He seems to play with women, but doesn’t take anyone seriously. Her family is in Paris because the three sisters are studying there. Luke is like a son for the Bonet family, but he is not their real son. He was abandoned as a baby, and as Golda Bonet had lost a baby recently, she and her husband took in the baby with open arms. Now Luc is the owner of the lavender fields as his father has left them to him.

The family returns from Paris, and Jacob, the father, talks to Luc about the situation of Jews in Paris. Things are terrible and Jacob is very pessimistic. Who can blame him? Luc is shocked, but hopeful that they will be safe in Provence. Yet, Jacob thinks that they are doomed, and there’s nothing they can do. What he believes is that Luc could save himself. We know from the book I started by mistake that Luc does escape the Germans. Jacob mentions the Nazis demanded every Jew to register all the members of their family, and I imagine that Jacob didn’t add Luc’s name when he had to do it. After all, Luc is not his real son, and by keeping his name from the Germans, Luc could be safe. Besides, Luc knows German as his father has always insisted him learning the language for future use. I wonder what Jacob has planned for his son.

Apart from this, we have been introduced to other characters. Catherine is a local woman who has been having an affair with Luc. She wants him to marry him, but Jacob has refused her requests. I think Catherine is not trustworthy, and I’m afraid that being spurned she might be dangerous for Jacob.

There is also Laurent, Luc’s friend, and we know that he has been in love with Catherine since he was young, but she doesn’t know. And we also briefly meet Wolff, who is Jacob’s friend and is teaching Luc German. We know that he is German and fought in the Great War, but after the war, he deserted his country and found his home in France.

In the last chapter I’ve read, Jacob says there’s something he needs to confess to Luc, and his last words are that Luc has been lied to. I have a slight idea about what he is going to tell, after mistakenly reading the beginning of “The French Promise”. I think that Luc is German, but who his parents are, I have no idea, but what I know is that his origins could make a difference for him.


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