Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith
Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
Release Date: 07-01-14
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
My Rating: 5 Stars
Can a stack of long-hidden love letters from a WWII war hero inspire a heartbroken woman to love again? Reeling from a bitter divorce, Adrienne Carter abandons Chicago and retreats to the sun, sand, and beauty of Southern Florida, throwing herself into the restoration of a dilapidated old Victorian beach house.
Early into the renovations, she discovers a tin box hidden away in the attic that reveals the emotional letters from a WWII paratrooper to a young woman who lived in the house more than a half-century earlier.
The old letters—incredibly poetic and romantic—transcend time, and they arouse in Adrienne a curiosity that leads her to track down the writer of the letters. William “Pops” Bryant is now an old man living in a nearby town with his handsome but overprotective grandson, Will. As Adrienne begins to unravel the secrets of the letters (and the Bryants), she finds herself not yet willing to give up entirely on love.
One Lavender Ribbon by Heather Burch is a poignant love story, flashing back from past to present, with three generations of love, loss, joy and tragedy.
Adrienne Carter, 28 years old, is finally free of her verbally abusive and controlling husband of six years, and flees Chicago to start over on the Gulf Coast of Florida in Bonita Springs, Florida (near Naples).
South Floridian myself, (east coast), I often take weekend trips over to the (west coast) and one of my favorite places to stay is the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs (heavenly)!
The older bungalow needs many repairs and Adrienne becomes engrossed in renovation. While in the attic she discovers a box and finds love letters, from the early 1940s, addressed to Grace, written by William.
She is curious and has a strong desire to find these two people, and wonders if they are still alive. She dreams of a love this strong and becomes obsessed with finding them. In her search, she locates William Bryant (81 yr old veteran of WWII, residing with his not so pleasant grandson Will (bank manager), who is very overprotective of his grandfather.
Adrienne becomes intensely involved with this family, and is drawn to the letters, the time, and gets caught up in their lives. (as well as with the grandson), except he is a little harder to crack. The older grandfather’s wife has died; however, Adrienne becomes engrossed with reuniting these two, no matter what. There are several different stories involved and the author blends them seamlessly.
This is the most beautiful love story, and can honestly say, I enjoyed this book more than any other historical fiction I have read, recently. Even though I find multi-generational novels intriguing, sometimes they can get very boring when flashing back to the early days.
However, what made One Lavender Ribbon, so unique and held my interest-- was the tone and pace of the novel—it captures you, and keeps you engaged without being so overpowered by the past. The story connects all three generations, when things are not always as they appear. Each generation learns from the other.
Would highly recommend the audiobook, as a narrator can make or break a novel, and in this case, Emily Sutton-Smith was outstanding—her voice is so soothing! I took the day off from work, on a beautiful day, breeze blowing, enjoying a swing overlooking a lake, and hiked through the forest and the audiobook transported me to a serene state of mind. (with tears and smiles).
Highly recommend to readers enjoying old fashioned genuine romance, chick-lit, historical fiction, and contemporary. Fans of Nicholas Sparks, and Sarah Jio will certainly enjoy Heather Burch’s style, and fall in love with these lovable characters with a take away you will not soon forget!
This was my first book by Burch, and look forward to reading more from this talented author. BTW, Love the front cover and the amazing quotes!
“Someone strong, but not overbearing. Fiercely devoted, but not crazed. Someone who could protect me, but gentle enough to reach into my soul without destroying my spirit.”― Heather Burch, One Lavender Ribbon