The Perfume Garden

The Perfume Garden

Large Print - 2015
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High in the hills of Valencia, a forgotten house guards its secrets. Untouched since Franco's forces tore through Spain in 1936, the whitewashed walls have crumbled, and the garden, laden with orange blossom, grows wild. Emma Temple is the first to unlock its doors in seventy years. Emma is London's leading perfumier, but her blessed life has taken a difficult turn. Emma's free-spirited mother, Liberty, who taught her the art of fragrance making, has just passed away. At the same time, Emma has separated from her long-time lover and business partner, Joe, whose baby she happens to be carrying. While Joe is in New York trying to sell his majority share in their company, Emma, guided by a series of letters and a key bequeathed to her in Liberty's will, decides to leave her job and travel to Valencia, to the house her mother mysteriously purchased just before her death. Emma makes it her mission to restore the place to its former glory. But for her aging grandmother, Freya, a British nurse who stayed in Valencia during Spain's devastating civil war, Emma's new home evokes memories of a terrible secret, a part of her family's past that until now has managed to stay hidden. With two beautifully interwoven narratives and a lush, atmospheric setting, The Perfume Garden is a dramatic, emotional debut that readers won't soon forget.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, A part Gale, Cengage Learning, 2015
Edition: Large Print edition
ISBN: 9781410482075
Branch Call Number: LP BROWN-K
Characteristics: large print
597 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


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Dec 20, 2017

An intricately woven story and quite a tear jerker in places. I learned a lot about the horrifying acts committed by Franco's rebel Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War and its lead up to Hitler's atrocities in WW2. It was heartbreaking to hear that the refugees were hunted down for decades after they fled the country, especially the children.

This novel alternately takes place during the Spanish Civil War and 2001/2002. I knew nothing about the war and its connection to World War II before I read this book. The storyline that takes place in 2001 is about a woman, Emma Temple, who goes to Spain because she inherited a house there from her mother. The house hasn't been used since the Spanish Civil War and she has no idea why her mother bought it shortly before her death. Emma has been going through a hard time with her mother's loss, the ending of a long-term relationship and finding out she is pregnant. She wants a new start and rebuilds her life as she rebuilds the house and learns about her family history. Recommended by Linda

Jun 09, 2015

A woman inherits a derelict house in Spain. She is a well-known perfumer. She is pregnant with her ex-partner’s child. The house has a historical connection. The neighbours have a family connection, etc. It does provide information about the coup that brought Franco to power and the war years. It all seemed to get resolved too tidily for my liking but a light read.


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