High in the hills of Valencia, a forgotten house guards its secrets. Emma Temple is the first to unlock its doors in 70 years and it seems like the perfect retreat. But for her grandmother, Freya, a nurse who stayed here during Spain's devastating civil war, the house evokes terrible memories. Emma is drawn deeper into Freya's story: one of crushed idealism, lost love, and families ripped apart by war.
Just finished this and really enjoyed it. Romantic novels, for me, have to have something more and the back story of the Spanish Civil War was enlightening and shocking too. The relationship between the main charachter and Delila in the last part of the book seemed a bit of a stretch but still a gripping read/listen!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
At the beginning I struggled with this book, but perserveed, & I'm glad I did as it's an excellent listen. I didn't no about the war & the Spanish children . so I would heartily recommend this one. Just perserveed at the beginning
Is there anything you would change about this book?
Less Mills and Boon style romantic scenes Some aspects of this book I found unbelievable. I just could not believe a mother would leave her baby in the manner that Rose did. Not sure why it was called the Perfume Garden, I didn't find I knew much more about how perfume is produced, rather glossed over that aspect I felt. The little it contained was interesting.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
I found the characters one dimensional. The bad guys were so bad and the good guys just too good. Would have liked to have understood the background to the civil war in Spain more.
Did The Perfume Garden inspire you to do anything?
No. Although I was not aware of the utter brutality of the war, or that children had been sent back to Spain from England.
Any additional comments?
There seems so many novels out just now using the device of split time. It sometimes interferes with the flow of the story. It is written as two separate stories, which inevitably come together ish. There seems rather a lot of unexplained situations, and very obvious plot devices. Nothing subtle or intriguing, all very obvious. The only character who found bull fighting offensive happened to be a totally unsympathetic one in the plot. She failed to understand the beauty of the bull fight. Yeah!