Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0-345-46048-6 (0-345-46048-0)
Pub Date: March 27, 2007
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Downsized from her teaching job, Jessie longs for a sense of renewal and decides to spend a year on Cape Cod, seeking to be cleansed by rushing ocean waters and comforted by the lavender hues of the setting sun. While there she volunteers with a local hospice program, where she meets Luke, a once proud fisherman whose life and body have been ravaged by cancer. Jessie’s presence is a great help to Luke’s mother, who has moved in to take care of her son.
After initial misgivings Jessie and Luke forge a deep friendship, and the former teacher is surprised to find herself opening up about her life, the loss of her father when she was a girl, her often difficult relationship with her mother, and her own battle with illness. When Luke makes a critical request of his new friend, Jessie must look deep within herself for an answer, knowing that her actions will have far-reaching effects on Luke’s family and forever change the bonds within her own.
“A few writers, and Anne LeClaire is one, can illuminate honestly every nuance of life reclaimed from loss, as the setting sun outlines every limb of a tree in winter.”
–Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean
“Brilliant, dark, and deep . . . LeClaire writes with great compassion and insight, and understands the ways that lives intersect, the way one decision can change everything forever.”
–Luanne Rice, author of Sandcastles
“Heart-wrenching, illuminating . . . The Lavender Hour paints in vivid detail the many shades of grief and the healing magic of place.”
–Claire Cook author of Must Love Dogs
“LeClaire packs this winning novel with resounding life lessons and a resonating set of romantic relationships.”
"Thank you very much for sending me the book THE LAVENDER HOUR. Wow I really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed the range of emotions this book evoked." - Eileen Gosselin
"This book was such a great read. As I was reading it I was remembering many things from my past and present. My dad's fire accident, when my mother remarried a man that we didn't really like and how now she is so ill and how my sister and I are so close. This past week as I was heading to work and looked up at Pikes Peak, the sun was coming up and the mountains were Lavender and pink. So in the mornings and evenings there is a Lavender Hour for me." - Julie Clode
"I really enjoyed reading this, and have recommended it to my book club. I found the book to be gripping from the beginning and loved her use of foreshadowing – without “giving away” the ending." - Laura L. Stephan
"Wow, what a book. I cannot wait to recommend it to my book club. This is a must read! I could hardly put it down. There are certainly many points for discussion. Great for book clubs. It's the kind of book you want to share, to be able to talk with someone about what Jessie did, how she felt, would we do the same, and on and on. I had not read Anne LeClaire before, but will certainly now look for one of her other books." - Sandy Brodie
"I do not think I have ever finished a novel quite so fast. This is a real page turner. I was not familiar with Anne LeClaire's work so the book carried a double bonus by introducing me to an author whose previous works I shall now seek out to enjoy. The heartbreaking story of Jessie's finding love at last only to lose it was gracefully told. I appreciated how LeClaire developed the relationships between Jessie and the older women in her life: Faye, Nona, and even her own mother. What appealed to me most in the novel was that Jessie finally overcame the fear which had been ruling her for her whole life and I hope with all my heart that she finds someone else to care about as deeply as she did Luke. LeClaire certainly made her protagonist come to life so that I cared about her. One would expect a novel in which one of the central themes is death and dying to be depressing, however, I found The Lavender Hour to be uplifting." - Nancy Yinger Noyes
"Although THE LAVENDER HOUR is about a woman who is asked by a dying person to help him end his life, at heart it is really a lesson in living. I know from personal experience that the dying have much to teach us about life and what is truly important. I found myself asking, “What would I have done?” This was thought provoking, emotional and well written." - Virginia Murray
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