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Francesca Bocconcino – :
I Was Given a Free Arc.
This review was also posted in english on Goodreads, and in italian on my blog.
The Lavander List is a book that was sent to me by Ylva Publishing in exchange for an onest review.
Then, let’s get into this book that has such a simple, but endearing cover, that signals right away the kind of read we are approaching.
Even if I didn’t particularly like the writing style and it reminds me in certain parts some fanfictions I have read, Meg Harrington manages to convey really well the years the story is set in, the years right after WWII.
Amelia and Laura are two completely different women: One, when she was younger, robbed banks with the aid of her brother and now wants to become and actress, the other was an agent active against Nazis, and she didn’t leave her past behind.
Their paths meat and, in between escapes and shootings, the two of them fall in love… Even if not everything goes at it should.
It was a fast read that kept me anxious until the last page, with me trying to understand if everything would have evended well or not.
After quite few pages I understood I had grown fond of Amelia and, even if a bit less, of Laura. This is a point in favor of the writer, because I don’t usually bond with characters so fast!
I highly recommend this read. After the ebook release, there should be also a paperback one and, hoping the italian Amazon has it, I’ll get a copy!
Karola – :
The story itself is good, I really liked the main characters. Although the story goes back to 1946, you can picture the circumstances back then. But I couldn’t warm up with this writing style. For me it was a “bumpy“ read.
Karen Mcintosh – :
Amelia has the hots for Laura, the girl next door in her female-only rooming house. Laura was in the resistance in France during the war and now she’s obviously involved in something secret, but what? As the tale unfolds we find out exactly what Laura does in the post-war era but what is the connection to Amelia? As the pair become embroiled in some dangerous escapades their feelings become apparent. In 1946 a girl has to be very careful to keep her ‘proclivities ‘ under wraps. Their relationship is intense and passionate and whatever they do, it’s not going away. I enjoyed this part of the story as it was romantic and sexy and the author left us in no doubt this was the most important love of their lives. The mystery they were part of was fascinating, thrilling and perilous. The style of writing is an interesting choice. It is in the present tense and for me that doesn’t always work, but in this case it certainly does. It takes us to the the 1940s, to a time of dames and guys with homberg hats. It is funny and irreverent and littered with sarcastic quips. I loved it. I highly recommend ‘The Lavender List’.
I was given this ARC free by Ylva Publishing in return for an honest review
jane shambler – :
I’ll admit this is not usually the kind of story that I would normally choose to read. But, saying that I’m really glad I did. It is so well written and the plot is developed excruciatingly slowly (which I may add suits this book) but WOW!!. I will definitely be on the look out for more from this author in the future. It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I really enjoyed it and found I wanted to know what happened next. It presents itself as a very serious mystery and in many ways it is, but I found the author has a very dry sense of humour which comes out quite often. Also it highlights the issues of that time in our history when being a lesbian was really socially unacceptable. Give it a go, I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Fun 1950’s thriller romance spy romp – :
1950’s thriller romance which finds an ex mobster, Amelia, working in a diner and doing auditions. Her crush is the swarve and sexy Laura who lives in the room next door at their boarding hotel. When Laura turns up at the diner with a bad cut and bruises Amelia starts to wonder quite where she goes all dolled up in the evenings, and her investigations lead her into a world of car chases, gun battles and the ongoing war between the USA and communist Russia.
I enjoyed the plot although it didn’t go where the blub suggested, ie back into Amelia’s mobster world. It was interesting to eplore what happened to the brave women who risked everything to work with the European resistance against the Nazis after the war – the expectation fof them to go home and settle into 1950’s normalcy of home and children.
This is certainly full of suspense. Both the romance and the thrill of the chase, with skies and mobsters and even the ‘good guys’ taking a hand. The first half sets the real characters, the second shows what they have become, far from the women they are perceived to be.
The characters of Amelia and Laura are likable, although I never really felt connected to them, but then that is also an element of those 1950’s stories, cool and slightly distant however much the hearts may be fluttering underneath.
The style worked really well for this plot and period, short, catchy writing, lots of sarcasm, definitely imitation the noir of 1950’s detective stories. At times the POV in the second half was a little difficult to follow, it certainly jumps around a great deal. But my only real issue was some of the language used was decidedly not 1950’s NYC, one phrase threw me out completely, the setting and props all seemed perfect for the era, but the language felt decidedly modern.
Overall I enjoyed it and it was a fun and exciting read.
mlt_evg – :
It’s 1946 and Amelia Maldonado is waiting tables hoping for her big break as an actress when the mysterious and beautiful Laura Wright turns up bruised and beaten outside Amelia’s diner. Amelia attempt to find Laura’s attackers brings her back to a past she would like to forget. She soon discovers Laura is much more than a munitions plant security supervisor. When Amelia ends up holding something valuable to both the mob and the government, she becomes the target Laura must protect. Let the campy spy thriller begin. These are a couple of broads you don’t want to mess with.
The author has a unique writing style which fits the pulp fiction books common in this era. Like a gangster’s tommy gun the dialogue is choppy and rapid fire. The POV takes a bit of getting used to with all the “Amelia is unimpressed…” and “Amelia cups her face…” sentences. I was glad when the POV switches to both Amelia and Laura’s point of view mid-way through the novel as I was getting tired of hearing Amelia’s name.
I liked the film noir atmosphere of this post war romantic crime thriller. The romance is slow to develop but does build into a solid relationship as bullets and bad guys fly about the women. There is miscommunication but not of the predictable romance variety. This is more of a (view spoiler)
More than the unexpected romantic entanglements I was impressed with how the author demonstrated the mentality of “a woman’s place” in this time in history. These are women who had exciting and or valuable jobs during the war, and then they didn’t. The condescending way men spoke to women was portrayed with all the frustration women in the Forties and Fifties must have felt. No woman was complete without a man at her side. Women could not be seen taking important jobs away from men. A woman showing interest in another woman was abhorrent and inexcusable. Men could be “light in the loafers” and have successful careers but any hint of women being anything but docile and domesticated was scorned and frowned upon. Harrington drives home the limitations for women in this era by giving us a rollicking pair of fearless dames to cheer for, women who believed they deserved to be treated as equals and not doormats.
An unusual and entertaining read.
Thanks YLVA for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.