• The Light Behind the Window

  • By: Lucinda Riley
  • Narrated by: Miranda Raison
  • Length: 12 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (507 ratings)
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The Light Behind the Window  By  cover art

The Light Behind the Window

By: Lucinda Riley
Narrated by: Miranda Raison
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Publisher's summary

From the Sunday Times best-selling author of the Seven Sisters series, Lucinda Riley's The Light Behind the Window is a breathtaking and intense story of love, war and, above all, forgiveness.

The present: Emilie de la Martiniéres has always fought against her aristocratic background, but after the death of her glamorous, distant mother, she finds herself alone in the world and sole inheritor of her grand childhood home in the south of France. An old notebook of poems leads her in search of the mysterious and beautiful Sophia, whose tragic love affair changed the course of her family history. As Emilie unravels the story, she too embarks on her own journey of discovery, realising that the château may provide clues to her own difficult past and finally unlock the future.

The past: London 1943. A young office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is drafted into the SOE, arriving in occupied Paris during the climax of the conflict. Separated from her contact in her very first hours in France, she stumbles into the heart of a wealthy family who are caught up in a deadly game of secrets and lies. Forced to surrender her identity and all ties to her homeland and her beloved husband, Constance finds herself drawn into a complex web of deception, the repercussions of which will affect generations to come.

Note to listeners: in the US, this book is published under the title The Lavender Garden.

©2020 Lucinda Riley (P)2020 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

Critic reviews

A sweeping, engrossing work. Riley is talented, delighting in the small details of aristocratic luxury and the pastoral countryside . . . The heroines of [The Light Behind the Window] struggle to master circumstances seemingly beyond their control, a common thread in Riley's work. A tale of family secrets, wartime espionage, and loyalties gained and gambled, The Lavender Garden will appeal to fans of historical fiction, Kate Morton, and Helen Bryan (Booklist)
A fast-paced, suspenseful story flitting between the present day and World War II . . . Riley expertly weaves Emilie's story into a dual narrative . . . A real old-fashioned romance which manages to have a compelling narrative as well as something of a history lesson in the Special Operations Executive. Brilliant escapism (Red)
Two superb storylines for the price of one here. In 1998 Emilie de la Martinieres inherits her grand South of France childhood home. She begins to uncover the past and finds a tiny room hidden in the wine cellar. Why has it been sealed for 50 years? As if that wasn't enough, there's also the part set in 1944. Constance Carruthers is sent to Paris as a spy, but loses her contact and falls in with an aristocratic family involved with the Resistance. Seriously, what could be more divine? Just sink in and wallow (Kate Saunders, Saga)

What listeners say about The Light Behind the Window

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Absolutely wonderful! Should be made into a movie!

This is quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read or should I say listened to! I could not stop listening! I never take time to write reviews but cannot let this one go. What a brilliant story and the narrator was outstanding! If I could give it 10 stars, I would!

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8 people found this helpful

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My New Favorite Lucinda Riley Book

This story, of epic proportions, is a must-read. Both set in France and England, it is a heartfelt story that will pull at your heartstrings and often confound you.

The tale is woven with such precision and talent that I read it, or actually listened to it, in just two days as I could not stop listening. As I sit with tears in my eyes not only because of the beautiful ending but because I have finished the story and I’m so sad to leave these wonderful characters ibehind. I now have read almost all of my new favorite author’s books & I can truly say that this has become my favorite.

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One of the best books I ever listened to!

A thoroughly enjoyable story! I loved Lucinda Riley’s “The Love Letter” and this one may even exceed it. The reader can really feel the nightmare that life became for the French people during WWII and the enduring power of love. Great narration—the accents were right on.

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4 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

This is one of the BEST historical fiction books I have EVER listened to. The story is beautiful and the narrator is exceptional. I can't say enough good things about this book - I couldn't stop listening and finished it in record time, wishing it hadn't ended! The only thing is that the title doesn't make sense to me (neither the American nor the English title) but that certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment!

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Fantastic read

As a lover of things Provençal and interested in the role of the French Resistance, this book was a favorite.
I love Lucinda's writing, intelligence and skill in describing works of art. She's also a wonderful poet.
Ms Raison's performance was exceptional, as is her French!
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the topic whether a fan of Lucinda Riley's or not.
PS I really loved the Seven Sisters series.

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Great, great, great

Just when I thought I had the whole story figured out, I didn’t. One of my favorite books.

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So much potential, but...

I had to stop. So much potential, and clearly the author can write beautifully, and the narrator is lovely. But, the lead character (Emilie) turns out to be too pathetic to be believed, as anyone can see right away see that Sebastian obviously is a cad plotting to take advantage of her. What woman intelligent enough to be a veterinarian and who has made a practice of being independent is going to open her home and heart to the first handsome man who walks up to her after she very publicly inherits a fortune? While I didn't get far enough in the book to say for sure, I'm guessing that he ran over her dog, too, just to make Emilie more emotionally vulnerable. Sigh. I was so looking forward to a rich historical novel. But Emilie's patheticness is too much to listen to.

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Absolutely Wonderful!

I agree with the previous comments that it would be a fabulous movie. One of the best books I have read in a very long time.

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Lovely performance

Love The performance and The book felt Loke it went om forever with new twists :)

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Gréât read

This is a sweet book with a few twists. I think you will enjoy it!

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