"Noble-Sanderson presents a sensitive account of recovery following the crises of war, and it's particularly effective in how it anchors its story in domestic details. The book also raises intriguing questions about war, injustice and sexism without becoming didactic. A quiet but moving tale of recovery from the trauma of war." - Kirkus Reviews
"Evoking the fragrance of lavender-scented fields, the sound of a flowing river, and buzzing bees, Gail Noble-Sanderson's prose is lush and impressionistic as she takes us from those first pre-war days of excellence and refinement, to the stark contrast of the battlefields of Verdun and the emptiness of Marie's house when she first arrives in Meuse. Noble-Sanderson's artful storytelling allows Marie the time to rail and resist, only to gradually realize that her heart and soul are indeed healing from the trauma of the battlefields." - Michael Bonacci, award winning poet
Marie Durant Chagall, the well-educated daughter of a wealthy shipping merchant, is living a privileged childhood with her half-sister, Solange, in Marseille when their cultured world is shocked into change with the chaos of World War I. Feeling restless and a desire to contribute, Marie volunteers as a nurse with the French Red Cross and quickly finds herself embroiled in the brutal, bloody battlefield of Verdun. Injured both mentally and physically and suffering a severe crise de tristesse sombre, a crisis of black melancholy, Marie eventually returns to life through the unexpected gift from her mother, who had died a few weeks after giving birth to Marie: a house among the lavender fields on the Meuse River, which Marie reluctantly opens up to care for fellow wounded souls. The Lavender House in Meuse presents an emotional, intriguing, and sensitive account of the crises of World War I and one woman's journey towards recovery and growth.