The Memory of Lavender and Sage

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Pub Date 05 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 05 Apr 2024

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Description

“A standout voice in women’s fiction. I was captivated from the very first line.” — Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Summer of Songbirds

Perhaps the secrets of her mother’s past in this tiny French town hold the key to her own future. . .

Food critic Tempèsta Luddington has always felt like the odd person out in her family, ever since she lost her beloved mother at the tender age of thirteen. When her workaholic father passes fifteen years later, Tempèsta is not surprised that the majority of the considerable family money will pass to her dutiful younger brother, Wal. Still, she is left a modest remembrance from her mother, and for the first time Tempèsta has a world of choices before her.

Lost in grief and hoping to reconnect with her memories and her mother’s past, she uses the money to buy a ramshackle manor house in Sainte-Colombe, a small village in Provence, where her mother had grown up. But she is greeted with more questions than answers. Her welcome, especially by the town’s stodgy mayor, is cold at best, and she finds herself wondering if the entire experiment was a mistake.

Yet she stays, stubbornly sticking it out, slowly learning that her mother’s legacy was more than just a nest egg. Through her mother and the village, Tempèsta learns the value of community and friendship, the importance of self-confidence, and the power of love and trust. What’s more, she sees for herself that there is magic and beauty in the everyday—even something as simple as a sprig of lavender and sage.

“For readers who love Under the Tuscan Sun and Chocolat, this is your next heartfelt, delightful read.” —Jennifer Moorman, bestselling author of The Baker's Man

  • A dreamy escape into Southern France from bestselling author Aimie K. Runyan.
  • Perfect for fans of Katherine Center, Rebecca Serle, and Sarah Jio
  • Kate Quinn described Runyan’s previous work as “a moving tale of female solidarity and courage.”
  • Stand-alone novel of approximately 100,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

“A standout voice in women’s fiction. I was captivated from the very first line.” — Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Summer of Songbirds

Perhaps the secrets of her...


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ISBN 9781400237258
PRICE $18.99 (USD)
PAGES 400

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Average rating from 85 members


Featured Reviews

My first book by Aimie K Runyan to read and I must say there is a depth to this book that gratifies the reader. At the same time, there are some characters the reader will love to hate simply because of their attitudes.
When Tempesta's father dies and leaves her none of his estate, Tempesta's brother reveals that her mother had her own estate that went entirely to her. Tempy's mother was from Sainte Colombe in Provence in France, and so Tempy decides to move back to France to get to know her mom better through the people in her town. Her welcome was at first rather cool, except for Jenofa, a woman who had watched Tempy's mom grow up. Tiberi shows up to help put Tempy's house to rights, and there is a lot that needs to be done. Tiberi and Tempy work together to bring the hundreds years old house into the modern age, and then they work together to revitalize the village. There are some recalcitrant citizens of the village who don't want the progress or the influx of tourists that Tempy's ideas will bring, but they are soon won over.

Aimie has done such a masterful job of developing her characters in this book, the reader feels a kinship with some, a strong distaste for others, and still others fall somewhere in between. The settings she has included in the book make the reading far more interesting.

This is a five star book, with two thumbs up, and an herb garden that will help and heal your ills.

Harper Muse provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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I loved this book! The title caught my attention first; once I started to read the book, I could not put it down. I love the characters, the descriptions of the country, usage of herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes, etc. I can almost smell the herbs and spices as I write this review. The book centers on a woman's return to a small area in Provence where her mother grew up and left when she was a young woman. Past family secrets are revealed and new relationships are formed. Wonderful debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author.

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Many many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Muse for the opportunity to read The Memory of Lavender and Sage by Aimie K. Runyan. This is a book I want on my shelf so I can go back and re-read it from time to time. It's just a lovely, magical book.

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Family is a place where we should all feel wanted, loved and accepted, But in some cases this is far from the truth. All her life as the eldest daughter Tempesta has always felt like an oddity. Her dad works like a maniac keeping the Luddington Foundation thriving and her younger brother Wal is rightfully taking his father's place in the hierarchy of the Luddington family. When her father dies, Tempesta is not surprised that the majority of the family wealth goes to her brother. Her mother though had left her a modest inheritance of her own. Suddenly Tempesta's world is opening up right before her and a trip to find out more about her roots in France is about to happen. .
She becomes part of the small town where her mother was such an important cog and yet Tempesta knows little about that time in her mother's life.
What unfolds is a true coming of age (even though she is well into her adult life). So many thiings about her childhood did not make sense and now she is getting the answers to all those nagging questions she had while growing up.
This book is a very good read and so enjoyable. The characters are wonderfully portrayed that you can almost see them. Kudos to the author for writing a story that really does pull you in.

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I loved this book! It was so atmospheric. I loved the community, the setting, the friendships, the herbs and all the food! But, I especially liked the characters, and watching them develop throughout the book. It was just a joy to read.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Harper Muse for the ARC. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thank you net galley for giving me this opportunity to read the book, 'The Memory of Lavender and Sage.
Tempesta is a food critic for a newspaper and lives in NYC.
Tempesta lost her mom when she was a young teen.
Her family consists of her younger brother and grandmother.
Tempesta's and Wal's father has just pased away. The will is read and mostly everything is given to Wal.
But, Tempesta does get a little something from her deceased mother. With the money she receives from her mother she goes to Provence, France where her mother is originally from.
Tempesta buys a small house which needs some work. She isn't welcomed by most of the residents from the small village. As time goes by the residents begin to treat her as a local.
I absolutely loved this book, it had me in tears. Hopely, Aimie will write another contemporary novel.
Can I give it ten stars!!!

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What a delightful book. Good characterization. Would recommend to others. Hope the author has a follow up book planned to continue with the characters already in play.

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I absolutely loved this book, it had brilliantly crafted characters, a lovely sense of setting and a positive storyline.

When Tempesta's father dies and she sees he hasn't left her anything in his will, instead has left everything to her successful older brother, she feels hurt and betrayed and decides to return to a little village in France where her mother grew up. Once in the village, Tempesta instantly feels a connection to the place and enjoys settling in and making her home there.

Whilst exploring the village, Tempesta begins to learn about herself, her mother and her family too and soon realises that not all was as it seemed with her father's will.

There's more to life than just learning about her past though, the village is under threat and needs to be saved, but it's not as easy as Tempesta offering her skills to help - some of the locals are far from welcoming and seem to hold grudges against her family name.

I really enjoyed this as I felt like I was getting to know Tempesta and her family. The descriptions of the village and the smells of the herbs and everything were brilliantly crafted and made me want to go and explore little villages in France myself!

Very enjoyable read.

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i really enjoyed this book. the characters really came to life and I felt like i was transported to France. I loved the “magical” element woven through the story and my mouth watered as Tempesta cooked up her dishes.

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The Memory of Lavender and Sage
by Aimie K. Runyan
Pub Date: February 13, 2024
Harper Muse
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have read this author before and loved her books!
Runyan does not disappoint! This is a 5 star book I am happy to recommend.
Food critic Tempèsta Luddington has always felt like the odd person out in her family, ever since she lost her beloved mother at the tender age of thirteen. When her workaholic father passes fifteen years later, Tempèsta is not surprised that the majority of the considerable family money will pass to her dutiful younger brother, Wal. Still, she is left a modest remembrance from her mother, and for the first time Tempèsta has a world of choices before her.
5 star

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I am used to Aimie K Runyan writing pure historical fiction and she always knocks it out of the park. She's amazing at it. This is the first modern story of hers that I've read and it was nothing short of amazing. I absolutely loved the setting and the characters (except the few I hated). Tempesta was such a strong relatable character and her new community was just one I'd love to live in. I loved the sense of community, once they decided to accept her as one of their own. I loved watching how each character grew and developed as the story progressed. I truly enjoyed reading the entire process of restoring the house and getting to know Tempesta's mother's history. While I hope Aimie doesn't stop writing historical novels, I truly hope this isn't her last contemporary story. Clearly, it's a genre that she excels at. And, I've added another place in France that I need to visit.

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A strong, Tempesta Luddington has felt lost since her mother died when she was 13. An outsider, even in her own family, to no fault of her own, she can't seem to find footing in this life she lives. When her father dies, she receives a small inheritance from her mother. After a little coaxing, she decides she must go see the quaint village in France where her mother grew up. But the pull she feels is strong and she jumps with both feet, buying a home there, sight unseen, that could modestly be described as a "fixer-upper." She soon learns her mother's past and her legacy hold a very different story than she ever imagined. Her life, once void of affection and connection, begins to fall into place and she finds the home, and the people, she was always meant to know.

This book was un-put-downable! Aimie K Runyan's first attempt at contemporary fiction was a massive success. Having read her previous historical fiction, I knew this would be stepping out of the norm for her and she hit it out of the park. The vibrant details are woven beautifully throughout the pages and you can't help but fall in love with the place and the people she's created. (And you may get a little hungry because all of the food she creates sounds INCREDIBLE.)

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Harper Muse for the ARC. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This is a simply beautiful story of a woman finding her roots and true home in the village of her mother. The characters are written carefully to display their good and bad traits. The story flows easily and magic and truth blend seamlessly. An enchanting story.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thank you to Harper Muse and Net Galley for the chance to read and review this book. The opinions expressed are my own.
Food critic Tempest Luddington has always been somewhat of an outcast in her family. Her mother loved her, but she died when Tempest was 13. When she gets a little older, she decides to buy a house in her mother's home village, Sante-Colombe She wants to learn more about her mother and gain some independence from her family. Along the way, she grows up and begins to discover her place in the world. This is a very well-written story with likable characters. I liked the information about the plants and how Tempest used them to make healthy products. I recommend this book if you like a sweet, story with the main character learning a lot about herself. .

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“…there has to be more ways to live a life than cramming yourself into a tiny apartment and living shoulder to shoulder with people you don’t care about and who don’t care about you, all in pursuit of a job at a corporation that would happily replace you within two weeks if you died at your desk.”

Atmospheric, comforting and wholesome; this book was a wonderful way to start the year.

Tempèsta lost her mother at the age of thirteen. Her relationship with her father and paternal grandmother had been strained ever since and after her father’s passing she decided to leave the city life in New York and to travel to her mother’s home town in the south of France.

There were secrets to be discovered, some of which heartbreaking, but the idyllic setting, combined with the soothing life wisdom, balanced out the heaviest details.
I loved the community, the found family aspect, and the subtle hint of magic that made the book even more charming. Even though this was not exactly a romance novel, there was a love story that won over my romance loving soul.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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After really enjoying A BAKERY IN PARIS and THE SCHOOL FOR GERMAN BRIDES, I had no idea what to expect of Aimie Runyan's debut contemporary novel. THE MEMORY OF LAVENDER AND SAGE showcases Runyan's gifted versatility as an author. Like her historicals, it's filled with sharply observed details and memorable characters you want to root for. Reading it felt like taking an immersive trip to Provence—you can smell the lavender blooming, feel the warm sun, hear the clatter of footsteps on cobblestone streets. When I wasn't reading it, I found myself wanting to return to the charming world Runyan created. Bottom line: THE MEMORY OF LAVENDER AND SAGE is a delectable comfort read, like a warm bath with a glass of French wine after a long day.

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Loved, loved, loved! What an escape! After reading quite a few serious books in a row, this way a joy! I wanted to live this woman’s life!!! A touch of magic, a beautiful setting, a grown up romance ooh it was wonderful!!

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I loved this book! It was a book that I did not want to put down. Tempesta Luddington is a food critic in New York. Her mother died when she was 13, and has felt like an outsider in her own family for a long time. Her father has recently died and Tempesta receives an inheritance from her mother. Not a lot, but who for her to make a change to her life. She goes to the village in France where her mother grew up. She buys a house and discovers her mother's past.
A story of heritage,friendship, community, and discovery of ones self while finding a purpose to her life.
I loved that Tempesta was such an amazing cook, and all those wonderful teas, creams and recipes she created with the herbs from her garden.

Thank you NetGalley and Harper Muse for the opportunity to read this book.

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The Memory of Lavender and Sage is a remarkable story that reminded me why I love reading so much! The joy I got from turning each page is something I can’t quite explain but it’s a joy that I hope to carry with me throughout my 2024 reading journey!

This is a story about Tempesta and her desire to find a place and a family where she belongs. This journey takes her from the concrete jungle of New York to her late mother’s birthplace in a small Provence in France. There she discovers things about her mother she never knew from the very people who knew her as a child. It’s in this small village that she discovers she has quite the green thumb and she turns the things she grows in her greenhouse into delicious food and products that not only help others but bring them together. The more time she spends in this place, with these people…she realizes that she has finally found her home and calling in life.

I loved each and every page of this story! It’s a very immersive story as you find yourself wanting to smell the lavender that was planted to keep the scorpions away, the basil that is loving harvested to make a decadent pesto, the lemon verbena cookies as they bake and see for yourself the antiques in a local shop that each have a story to tell.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Harper Muse and most of all Aimie Runyan for allowing for to read this gem of a novel before it hits the shelves! What a great way to kick off 2024!

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Tempèsta is a New York food critic with an unhappy family life. Her French-born mother died when she was 13 and she doesn't feel accepted by the rest of her family who own a huge Foundation. Her father and his mother always preferred her brother Wal and made no secret of the fact that they felt like she was too much like her mother for her to be a real part of such as prestigious family. When her father died, his entire estate is left to her brother - no surprise there - and it makes her want to make some changes in her life. She has a bit of money that was left to her by her mother so sight unseen she buys the house where her mother was born in Sainte-Colombe, a small village in Provence. When she arrives at the house she questions her decision to buy the run down and cluttered house where no one had lived for years. A local builder assures her that the house has good bones and that it will be magnificent when it's cleaned out and updated. She's also surprised at some of the negative feelings from the local residents who seem to be harboring bad feelings and memories about her mother.

Despite the shape the house was in and the negative feelings from some of the people in town, she decided to stay. She gradually makes friends and becomes romantically involved with the builder who is helping her renovate her house. She also finds that she has a special talent for growing herbs in her greenhouse that amazes her. The small town is close to losing its school which would mean more of the young members of town would be moving away when Tempesta has an idea that she thinks will save the town. Will the people in the town who dislike her go along with her plan and will her plan even work to help save the town?

This is a lovely book about family, friends and community and about learning more about previous generations of your family. It was great to see the main character change from feeling unloved by her family to creating a new family of people not connected by blood but made up of the people who cared the most about her.

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So many things about this novel appealed to me, the plot, the characters and the setting. And although I’m not a cook and don’t have a green thumb or speak more than a few French phrases, I could see heading off to Provence in a heartbeat! Merci pour le livre and bon voyage!

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I am a huge fan of Aimee’s historical fiction books so I was so excited to see she’s writing a new genre. I adored this story from the first page! Such heartwarming characters. Highly highly recommend

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This book was the first work of contemporary fiction written by this author who usually writes historical fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Tempesta, a young food critic in New York, unhappy with her life. After her father dies, she leaves New York for the small village in Provence her mother came from, hoping to learn more about her mother and start a new way of life. As she befriends Esteva, she becomes further enmeshed into trying to help the community revive, as Tempèsta also starts her own business. The setting is perfect, the characters likable, and the story enchanting. Recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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I am a fan of this author and this one was as good as the last one I read. Another great story with well developed characters, some you like and some maybe not so much. The story flowed well and I just couldn't put it down.

This is a story about family, acceptance, being the odd one out. And that is what Tempesta seems to be. Set in a small village in Provence, Tempesta sets out to find out more about her mothers past and while doing so finds friendship, a sense of community and so much more.

A great setting for this book which is in some ways magical, is very well written and brings such wonderful characters to life. The stories and characters developed throughout the story/book, flowed so well and was so easy to read but had the depth and intensity to make it a wonderful and truly great read.

Thank you NetGalley and Harper Muse for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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A lovely story about finding your history and then yourself, Tempesta inherited from her mother, who died when she was a teen, but she's not been to Provence before, Now, she's there and discovering there was more to the woman than she knew or was told. It's atmospheric and engaging with a well drawn protagonist. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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With THE MEMORY OF LAVENDER AND SAGE, bestselling historical fiction author Aimie K. Runyan takes readers on a journey to contemporary Provence in this heartwarming comfort read that had me wanting to jump on the next flight to buy a petite maison in a charming provincial town. Having traveled extensively in the locations she writes about, Runyan captures the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Provence perfectly.

This is a book that not only engages the senses, but also has great emotional payoff as main character Tempesta travels to France after her father’s untimely death and discovers secrets hidden in her Occitan mother’s past as well as the magical gifts she inherited from the generations of women before her.

Runyan marries touches of sparkling fabulism with healthy, grounded romance, relatable family dynamics, and a sense of cathartic self-discovery as Tempesta uses her skills to bring new life and purpose to the sleepy hamlet of Sainte-Colombe and its citizens. If you enjoyed Chocolat and Practical Magic, you will love this feel-good novel.

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This book received a five-star rating from me. It is a story of family and personal discovery that is moving and inspiring. It depicts the beauty of Provence in vivid detail, which makes the reader want to travel there. The characters are unforgettable.

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I really enjoyed this book. The story was inspirational and the interactions between the main characters was believable. I loved the slight touch of whimsy with Tempy possible having a bit of magic for plants. It was just an enjoyable read and hard for me to put down.

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I loved this story, one about a brave woman who changed her life. Beautiful setting and loved the characters. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. great story!

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Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Muse for a digital advance reader's copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

This feel-good novel checked several of my boxes – magical realism, small town in France, a life reboot, found family, romance, food and even a few tantalizing recipes thrown in.

After Tempesta’s French mother dies when she is thirteen, she is left living in New York with her workaholic father, younger brother, and vindictive grandmother. Fifteen years later her father dies, and Tempesta decides to take a leave from her newspaper food critic job and visit the small French town her mother came from.

This is the beginning of Tempesta’s revival – with her inheritance she buys a fixer-upper manor house in the small town of Sainte-Colombe, in Provence, makes new friends, develops a romance with a hunky carpenter, learns about her French family and heritage from the village elders, and discovers her mystical talent related to growing herbs and preparing food.

This may sound typical and predictable, but it’s really so much better than the usual. The novel was well-written, the characters authentic, and I found myself quickly turning the pages to find out what would happen next. Juxtaposed with Tempesta’s personal growth was the story of the small village on the brink of ruin being saved by the villagers using the tools at their disposal, and Tempesta was the catalyst to get the village to see the dire situation they faced while providing a creative solution.

After the life-changing decisions Tempesta makes throughout the novel, not only has she blossomed in her new environment and become more assured and confident, but she has made a difference in the life of the village. As another character tells her, “You deserve to feel at home. You deserve to feel like you belong. That you’re valued.” She had spent so many years convinced that she was unlovable and unworthy, that she began to think it was true. It was heartwarming to see Tempesta flourish and to carry on her family’s legacy.

I highly recommend this feel-good novel of revitalization (both Tempesta’s and the village’s), family, and realizing that more important than making a living, is to take the time to make a life.

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I loved this book so much! This is not an action-packed book, but you are looking for something to read with vibes - this is a fantastic choice.

I loved reading about the village, the "magic", the village traditions and superstitions, the herbalist vibes, etc. The writing was beautiful and magical. I was swept away with all the descriptions and I didn't want this book to end.

I found myself googling similar places so I could picture the village in my head. The characters were also amazing and stole my heart (LOVE Jenofa).

If you want a slower paced, vibey read - pick this one up ASAP.

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The Memory of Lavender and Sage by Aimie K. Runyan was a great story and truly unique and an engrossing novel.
I loved the character development and was completely invested in them all.
The writing and the story with this book was done well.
A well-written and captivating story from Runyan it was truly fantastic, fascinating, and an enjoyable read.

Thank You NetGalley and Harper Muse for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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Come and share The Memory of Lavender and Sage with Tempesta, her brother Wal and the friends in Sainte-Columbia, France where their mother grew up; who always smelled of lavender and sage. Where the sister and brother reconnected and they both found the love of family and new friends.
Aimie K. Runyan has made this family and town come alive in this family drama and coming to live life freely story.
It is a great book with so many wonderful characters and a fascinating story to tell.
I loved it. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own
#TheMemoryofLavenderandSage
#AimieKRunyan
#HarperMuse
#NetGalley

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Completely invested from the first page, I stayed up to the early morning hours unable to put it down. I have longed to visit the French countryside most of my life. Thank you, Aimie K. Runyan for taking me there—oh, the power of a book and the beauty found within its pages.

I absolutely loved the story, the characters, and the setting, but I was crestfallen when the “magic/mystical” aspect of it was introduced to the story. Personally, I don’t read books that have anything of the sort in them, and would have loved for it to not have gone there. Having received an ARC, I felt a responsibility to finish the book and offer a review. So, once again I say, it was a beautiful story and I loved everything about it with the exception of the supernatural, mystical element.

A special thank you to Aimie K. Runyan, Netgalley, and the publisher for the honor of reading The Memory of Lavender and Sage before it was released.

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When Tempesta's father dies he leaves her nothing, she moves to France to start her life there. Lovely setting and a great story.

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story of a single woman with strength of character and moxie. It inspires all to have the courage to step out of our comfort zones and follow our hearts, even when the going gets a little bit rocky.

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Thanks to NetGalley, Aimie K. Runyan and Harper Muse for this ARC. After a childhood feeling like the odd person out, and missing her beloved deceased mother, Tempesta takes her inheritance and heads to her mother’s homeland, Provence. While not immediately accepted by the small community, she soon finds a home, friends and a new innate talent that helps her connect with her neighbors and brings a sense of self-confidence and belonging.

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If you’ve visited any of the gorgeous villages in France’s Haute Provence, The Memory Of Lavender And Sage will be a wonderful reminder of what you’ve experienced during your time there. If you haven’t yet been to that part of the world, this book will definitely help immerse you in the landscape. The imagery throughout this book is exquisite and it's clear that Aimie Runyan is very familiar with the landscape, the villages and the people there.
I loved the story of Tempèsta and her discovery of a place to belong and family she didn’t know she had. She’s such a beautifully drawn character that it was easy to imagine her strolling through her greenhouse talking to her herbs or creating magic in her kitchen. While this is her story, there were many other characters who helped to create a sense of welcome and belong, at least after a while, and a sense of promise for the future. The herbs in this story are almost characters in their own right, each representing a feeling, for example basil for love. It was fascinating watching the village of Sainte-Colombe transforming from a tired place where people, businesses and homes were slowly dying to somewhere filled with beauty and vitality thanks to the seeds sown by Tempésta and her friends. This story is filled with hope, sunshine, a sense of regeneration and belong and is one I’ll read again for sure.
Oh, and there are recipes, wonderful recipes at the end! What more could you want?

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This book is one that makes the reader think about the meaning and importance of family as well as the idea that life is something more than how much money we make or how many hours we work. The narrator, Tempesta, suddenly loses her father after having lost her mother when she was a teenager. Her grandmother is cold to her and makes Tempesta feel as if she doesn't belong in her family. Tempesta works as a food critic in the United States but decides to go to her mother's village in France and buys a small house there with the small inheritance from her mother (her brother got the lion's share, from the father), sight unseen. Although she is not initially welcomed by everyone there (some call her a witch), she comes to make a life there, coming to understand that a life is more than going to work each day and making money. She gets out of the rat race and discovers that the community is all around her and she finds her own true talents, in spite of the pressure placed upon her by her brother who wants her to come home to help him run the family business, that is literally making him ill.
There are wonderful characters in this book, beautiful descriptions and important and meaning messages for the reader (without being didactic). I definitely look forward to reading future books by Ms. Runyan.
Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Muse for providing me with the opportunity to read this wonderful book.

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I loved everything about “The Memory of Lavender and Sage” by Aimie K. Runyan. In this captivating and well-written novel, the author writes in a sensory manner, and vividly describes the scenery and the landscape as well as the colorful and dramatic characters. Not only can I see the plants, and the food, but I can smell, and feel them. There is feeling of magic in the air. The genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, Romance, France, Magical Realism, Family Drama, and Fiction. The story takes place in a small province in France and New York.

The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. Some come from dysfunctional families. The female protagonist, Tempesta, is a food critic, and feels uncomfortable with her family. Tempesta’s mother passed away when she was a thirteen, and she was brought up by a cold and indifferent grandmother and a father that works compulsively. When her father passes away, her brother Wal reads the will, and Tempesta doesn’t inherit anything from her father. She is left with an envelope with some money that belonged to her mother. Tempesta has always been drawn to France, her Mother’s home.

Tempesta is captivated by a run-down in the French village, and purchases it. The Mayor and some of the people don’t seem to want Tempesta there. She gets help from some of the people, and starts to fix the house. Tempesta realizes that there are secrets that her mother had, and she wants to discover them, and herself. Tempesta has an unusual talent of growing herbs and plants.

I appreciate how the author discusses the importance of family, friends, communication, honesty, love and hope. There is also a wonderful section of recipes. I highly recommend this charming, delightful, memorable and thought-provoking novel to everyone

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Heartwarming, enchanting, and full of hope, this book grabbed me within the first few pages. "The Memory of Lavender and Sage" reminds us that the past may help shape us, but we alone can choose our future and decide what makes us truly happy. With memorable characters, an idillic French countryside setting, a splash of whimsy, and included recipes referenced in the story, this would make an excellent book club pick.

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Tempeste worked in New York as a restaurant critic. After her father’s death she inherits a small inheritance and buys an old house in need of repairs in Sainte-Colombe in Provence.
Tempeste finally gets a chance to move away from her controlling grandmother and discovers the villager where her mother once lived.
Lots of nostalgia and rediscovered memories.
I loved the way Tempeste gradually discovers who she is and the life her mother lived in the small village.
A love story with lots of descriptions of delicious food, friendships and family relationships.
A pleasure to read.
Thank you NetGalley and Harper Muse Publishers for the chance to read and review this E-Book. I loved it.

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Reading this book is the emotional equivalent of sitting on your porch, warm breeze tickling and watching a lovely sunset.

After the death of her beloved French mother at age 13, Tempesta became increasingly isolated from her locked-in father, openly hostile grandmother and her brother. Always striving to fit in and gain approval, she got her degrees in finance, but added one in journalism too. After hating her financial jobs, she ended up as a food critic for a NYC publication. But the emptiness remained. When she received a small inheritance from her mother after her father's death, she buys the only house in her price range in her mother's home town in Provence. Her journey of self discovery and finding a family along with a few secrets is affecting, haunting and touched with a whisper of magical realism.

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