Let's face it: there a lot of authors who proclaim to be great writers but really stink. As a vigorous book lover, I read with friends in my book club, and we tend to tear apart a book if we arenít hooked in the first thirty pages. That's why I have to share with everyone the read that placed me on the edge of my seat with twists and turns - The Unlikely Lavender Queen: A Memoir of Unexpected Blossoming by Jeannie Ralston.
Editor and writer Ralston pens a remarkable memoir which touches the core of a womanís heart. Ralstonís writing style places the reader next to her, as if two friends are sharing a cup of tea together. Penning memorable material isnít new to Jeannie Ralston; she has been writing for over 20 years, with work published in Time, Life, National Geographic, the New York Times, Ladies Home Journal and many other prominent publications. What catches my attention in Ralstonís memoir is her ability to inspire and empower a woman to believe that life is what you make of it.
In this true love story, Jeannie Ralston, a media-centric New Yorker falls in love with a striking Texas rebel, completed equipped with his camera as a highly sought-after photographer. He convinces Jeannie that Texas will welcome a good olí New York gal with open arms, and life will be full of new adventures. Reluctantly, Ralston follows her heart and Robb to Texas; thatís where the bookís content gets really interesting.
The Unlikely Lavender Queen is a witty, poignant story of personal transformation, a read with enthralling pages and a profound message of ďfollow your dreams.Ē By this time, Ralston has married Robb, started a family, and packed her bags for an adventure that will lead to discovering lavender blossoms in the lavender capital of the world - Provence, France. Ralstonís husband, enchanted by the magnificence of the lavender blossoms, convinces Jeannie that starting a lavender farm is their life aspiration; they can grow lavender in Texas like in Provence. We are not talking about a few lavender plants - something like 20,000 plants to start things out for the lavender farm.
Ralston immerses herself in the lavender field with determination. With resilience at the forefront of Jeannieís path, she produces and harvests lavender which becomes an amazing line of lavender products known today as Hill Country Lavender. During this timeframe, you witness a woman who manages to juggle marriage, family, business, relationships and financial situations and wipe the sweat off her brow with a smile on her face. Literally, there are scenes in the book, where I was jumping up and down cheering for Jeannieís success - what an inspiration! Women will so identify with this read.
As an avid gardener and book lover, I was immersed in this read because it presented the best of both worlds for me- everything lavender and heartwarming words. I am confident that the reader with find The Unlikely Lavender Queen thought-provoking and beg for more Ralston penmanship after the last page of this memoir.
Many lessons are presented in this read - never, never give up! Spread the word: Ralstonís The Unlikely Lavender Queen is phenomenal. I donít want to give away the bookís ending, but one does want to know, where does Jeannie go from here? A follow-up book with Jeannie Ralstonís next adventures will satisfy my hunger.