Lavender and Old Lace

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Author: Myrtle Reed (Olive Green)
Published: 1902
Language: English
Wordcount: 47,311 / 135 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 83.7
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 1,047 5860

A charming story of a quaint corner of New England, where bygone romance finds a modern parallel. The story centers round the coming of love to the young people on the staff of a newspaper—and it is one of the prettiest, sweetest and quaintest of old-fashioned Love stories.

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"What makes you think Miss Ainslie has anything to do with the light?" she inquired after a little.

"'Cause there wasn't no light in that winder when I first come--leastways, not as I know of--and after I'd been here a week or so, Miss Hathaway, she come back from there one day looking kinder strange. She didn't say much; but the next mornin' she goes down to town and buys that lamp, and she saws off them table legs herself. Every night since, that light's been a-goin', and she puts it out herself every mornin' before she comes downstairs."

"Perhaps she and Miss Ainslie had been talking of shipwreck, and she thought she would have a little lighthouse of her own," Miss Thorne suggested, when the silence became oppressive.

"P'raps so," rejoined Hepsey. She had become stolid again.

Ruth pushed her chair back and stood at the dining-room window a moment, looking out into the yard. The valley was in shadow, but the last light still lingered on the hill. "What's that,


Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****
Leah A. Zeldes

A sweet and sentimental love story. Ruth Thorne, a worn-out, 30-something newspaperwoman, comes to stay at the small-town home of her aunt, who is traveling abroad. Her aunt leaves her instructions to nightly kindle a lamp in the attic window.

Ruth is bored with inactivity until she meets Carl Winfield, another journalist, recovering nearby from eye problems, and Miss Ainslie, a spinster friend of her aunt's. Miss Ainslie lives alone, never leaving her cottage filled with beautiful gifts from a "seafaring gentleman." She also puts a light in her window every night.

Ruth discovers clues to lost romance in both older women's lives, but doesn't pursue them, becoming involved in her own unexpected romance.

The plot could use more conflict, and it's filled with unlikely coincidences, but the writing is effective and the novel makes pleasant reading.

Maria Wendt

I decided to try this book out pretty much based on the vintage-sounding title. The whole book is a fairly easy read; the characters are charming and the plot line is very much in tune with the title. The descriptions are very vivid and actually interesting to read (I normally hate to read descriptions). You could almost smell the lavender! The only thing I didn't really like was the ending. It was way too sudden and dramatic, especially when compared to the rest of the book. Overall, I liked it and am giving it four stars.

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