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The Unlikely Lavender Queen Summary and Reviews

The Unlikely Lavender Queen

A Memoir of Unexpected Blossoming

by Jeannie Ralston

The Unlikely Lavender Queen by Jeannie Ralston X
The Unlikely Lavender Queen by Jeannie Ralston
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  • Published in USA  May 2008
    272 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

In 1990, Jeannie Ralston was a successful magazine writer and bona fide city girl—the type of woman who couldn't imagine living on soil not shaded by skyscrapers. By 1994, she had called off an engagement, married Robb, a National Geographic photographer, and was living in Blanco Texas, population 1600.

The Unlikely Lavender Queen is the intimate story of a woman who gives up a lot for the man she loves – her beloved blue state, bagels and all-night bodegas—only to have to wonder: Was it too much? Ralston offers a lively chronicle of her life as a wife, new mother and an urban settler in rural Texas. As she labors to convert a dilapidated barn into a livable home, deal with scorpions and unbearably hot summers, raise two young children while Robb is frequently away on assignment, she realizes her ultimate struggle is to reconcile her life plans and goals with her husband’s without coming out the proverbial loser. And just when it seems like she might be losing that fight—and herself— a little purple bloom changes her life.

For centuries lavender has been a mystical herb, so valuable to ancient Romansthat a bushel would cost nearly a month’s wages. But when Robb returns from a trip to Provence with a plan for growing lavender on their land, Ralston is not convinced—in fact the last thing she needed or wanted was to take up farming on top of everything else. Then, much to her surprise, she slowly but surely falls in love with lavender, and in the course of growing and selling blooms, hosting the public at the farm, and creating lavender products, she discovers a new side of herself. A few short years later, Ralston had built Hill Country Lavender, a thriving commercial enterprise that transforms both her little corner of Texas and her life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this satisfying and enjoyable story, the reluctant Ralston eventually falls in love with their fields of lavender." - Publishers Weekly.

"Irritatingly, nearly half the book is comprised of the author's whining about the failings of Blanco compared to New York .... By the time she gets around to celebrating her achievements as a pioneering lavender farmer and entrepreneur, the reader's patience has worn thin .... A lively read undermined by an unbridled hissy fit." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Book clubs, start your engines! Jeannie Ralston's engaging read takes on all the current issues on a woman's plate -- career, marriage, kids, health, money, sanity and social conscience. It's good and it's good for you." - Marianne Wiggins, author of The Shadow Catcher and Evidence of Things Unseen.

"Can't wait to talk about this book with my book club members." - Kathy L. Patrick Founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Clubs.

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