‘Nothing is wasted, Simone. The love we give never dies.’
For Simone Fleurier, working in her aunt’s boarding house in Marseilles is both tiring and thankless, but things take unexpected turn when one of the tenants, a showgirl at Le Chat Espiègle, assigns Simone the job of walking her pet chihuahua.
Gradually Simone becomes known at the music hall, and her talent for singing is discovered. When an opportunity arises to go to Paris it seems a dream is realised.
In Paris Simone is drawn to André Blanchard, son of a powerful French family, and Simone becomes the brightest of the city’s lights. But slowly the world around her grows darker. When Nazi troops occupy her beloved city, she must make a decision that will lead to great danger – yet ultimately prove that love, just like wild lavender, can grow in the least likely of places …
Belinda Alexandra has created a tale of passion and courage that moves from the backstreets of Marseilles to the grand music theatres of Paris; from the countryside of Provence to decadent pre-war Berlin and jazz-age New York. Wild Lavender is a feast for the senses that will live on in the imagination long after the book is closed.
‘Filled with glamour, heartbreak, drama and suspense’ The Age
‘Rich in detail, and the story fairly rattles along’ Choice magazine
If ever there was a time and place I would have loved to have been a writer, it would have been Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. I have fantasies about working in my studio in the morning and then going to the cafes in the evening to converse with great minds like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso and Josephine Baker about the exciting movements in art, literature, music and dance.
Out of this fascination the story of Wild Lavender grew. I wanted to write a book that felt authentically ‘French’ so while working on it, I listened to the music of the period, read the novels everyone was reading and studied the art of the time. As part of my research I learned the tango (a favourite parlour dance) and ended up meeting my future husband, Mauro, this way.