An acclaimed international bestseller, The Perfume Garden is a sensuously written story of lost love, family secrets—and the art of creating a perfect scent.
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. Her free-spirited mother, Liberty, who taught her the art of fragrance making, has just passed away. At the same time, she broke up with 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, where she will give birth in the house her mother mysteriously purchased just before her death. The villa is a perfect retreat: redolent with the exotic scents of orange blossom and neroli, dappled with light and with the rich colors of a forgotten time. 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, Kate Lord Brown's The Perfume Garden is a dramatic, emotional debut that readers won't soon forget.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||955 KB|
About the Author
KATE LORD BROWN grew up in a wild and beautiful part of Devon, England, and was first published while at school. After studying philosophy at Durham University and art history at the Courtauld Institute, she worked as an art consultant, curating collections for palaces and embassies in Europe and the Middle East. Kate won the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition, Middle East region, in 2014; was a finalist in ITV's The People's Author competition 2009; and has an MA in creative writing. The Perfume Garden was shortlisted for the UK Romantic Novel of the Year 2014. She lives in the Middle East with her family, and is working on her next novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Two storylines one in 1936 and one in 2001 and unlike others with dual narratives, these two storylines are easily intertwined and that isn't the unknown in this book. Three generations of women in this book - Freya is the grandmother who lived through a rough time in Spain, Liberty is the middle generation and as of the beginning of the story has passed away and it has affected both her mother and the final woman in this trio, her daughter, Emma, who is pregnant with the next generation and is trying to deal with a lot of changes in her life both personal and professional. The one thing that I adore about reading historical fiction is to learn something without feeling like I had a text book handed to me - the Spanish Civil War of 1936. I really didn't know much about this and don't tell my history teachers, but maybe I missed those days in school! Although I didn't know much about the war, I loved reading these chapters, they had story and content and history - so good!