So when I saw The Unlikely Lavender Queen: A Memoir of Unexpected Blossoming by Jeannie Ralston, I snatched it up. The cover image only pretty much sold me on the book, but I dutifully flipped it over to check. And, yes indeed, this was a book that I would like to read.
The Unlike Lavender Queen is Ralston's memoir of how she moved with her new husband for her beloved New York City to Austin, TX. Once she finally adjusted to that, her husband had another idea. He wanted to move to a small town deep in the Texas Hill Country on a large piece of land. Ralston, the city girl, resisted, but eventually, they got there. Then on a vacation to Provence, her husband (a National Geographic photographer) decided he wanted to grow lavender on their land.
The book follows the growth of their lavender business, and tells the story of Ralston's transformation from a glamorous New York City writer to something she never thought she'd be.
I was thrilled with all the references to Central Texas, Austin, and other places I've been to, but I think the book has broad appeal. Ralston is a talented writer who honestly describes both the joyful and excruciating parts of her life as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, writer, reluctant farmer, and business woman.
And then there's all the lavender. Oh, the lavender...