Book Name: One Lavender Ribbon
Author: Heather Burch
Genre: Contemporary+historical fiction
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Format: Kindle eBook
Book Blurb: 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.
My Words: – A young divorced woman, fleeing from a loveless, abusive marriage with an emotionally controlling husband and trying to finding her foot in life and in a new place. Seeking peace in her turmoil-ridden heart which is on the verge of losing hope in love.
– A retired 81-year old World warII veteran, braver than most but humble, living with his grandson he adores, and tries to take care of, remembers being jilted, back when he returned from war to reunite with his beloved.
– A young bank manager, abandoned by his parents feels un-loved and neglected by them, brings his grandfather in his house to care for him. Overprotective about his grandfather and willing to do anything for him, he doesn’t trust in new relationships as his existing relationships never taught him to place his heart in anybody else.
– A younger sister who never married is the one left to tie history to now using one lavender ribbon. She’s a strong woman of her time who bakes cookies for the homeless children and inspires women of today to search deep within themselves for the faith to keep believing in love.
This is one of the best contemporary, historical fiction books I have ever read. I read this book earlier when it had come out, but thought of writing a review for it only now. It is a story of love, forgiveness and second chances. The writing is superb and heart-breaking. Two love stories from the historical past and the contemporary present are beautifully knotted and tied together with a simple lavender ribbon and felt nothing but real. There are several different sub-stories involved and the author blends them seamlessly.
The main story revolves around Adrienne who discovers a tin box hidden away in the attic of her new house, that reveals the emotional letters from a WWII paratrooper to a young woman who lived in the house more than a half-century earlier. Her curiosity to find the couple in the letters and return the letters to them leads her to William “Pops” Bryant – the World War II paratrooper and Will Bryant, his grandson. World War stories are usually a huge no-no for me, but I was deeply moved when reading about Pop’s experiences in this book, it sounded so true to life. The story connects all three generations, when things are not always as they appear. Each generation learns from the other.
The author has developed the characters really very well. She gave them all of the human flaws, so that even when they committed acts that didn’t sit well with you, she had made them so human, you could forgive them. Which is quite a difficult task for a writer. Also, although you could predict some of this storyline, it didn’t detract from the thread – it still was a good story… it was touching, well written and never over-reaching in its sentiment, just enough to leave you misty eyed once or twice.
This is a feel good book because it shows how it is never too late to live your life to the fullest, to let go of the past, and to take risks. Heather Burch took the history that shaped the families we are today and wove it into the life happening now for Adrienne in a flawless, seamless fabric so beautiful it is beyond compare. The words and phrases in the book were so beautifully conveyed and exquisite in their descriptions of the emotions and surroundings. It is an excellently written love story with believable and poignant characters and a twisting plot.
One lavender ribbon – that ties in the destinies of 4 different people……Beautifully written. Evocative, compelling, and very sigh-worthy. I highly recommend this book. 5 out of 5.
My favourite quotes from the book:
“Closing up a wound that’s not ready will only poison the whole body. Wounds have to heal in their own time. They have to breathe.”
“The grieving process is different for everyone. The very thing that might bring peace to one person might bring despair to another.”
“Even though the past may be painful, it’s okay to remember it. That’s how we heal.”
“And he wasn’t sure why today it seemed so important, but he had learned not to question motives. If the heart needed to take that journey, it simply did. And today, his heart had needed to.”
“Where have all the poets gone? Rhyme with passion left unsung, Even now my heart it yearns, Until my poet prince returns.’ ”
“Well, everyone can’t lead an exciting life. Some of us just have to work hard, be honest and persistent.”
“Death is not an anomaly. Life—life is the anomaly. And what a glorious gift it is.”