The trilogy Lavender Blues: Three Shades of Love takes us deep into the lives of the Lavender family. The three books, ‘Purple’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Violet’, explore free love, traditional courtship, open marriage and late-life romance.
Purple is a coming-of-age novel, a portrait of modern love and a family saga. Set in the North of England, it follows the story of shy ingénue Matthew Lavender living through the wildness of the 60s and his grandmother Mary, born into a traditional working-class family. Both are innocents who have to learn more about long-term love and commitment, earning their independence through a series of revealing and closely-observed relationships.
You can buy Purple here.
Blue, the second part of the Lavender Blues trilogy, tells the story of Richard and Vanessa Lavender, who join a 90s feminist collective sharing childcare, political activism and open relationships. Boosted by their ‘wider network’ they take secondary partners, throw parties and observe the dance of relationships amongst their friends. But finding a balance between power and restraint, and handling shared love, proves difficult…
You can buy Blue here.
The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. Attracted by James’s openness, Beth feels an immediate, deep connection between his honesty and her own romantic faith. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister….
You can buy Violet here.
You can view a family tree covering all three books here. Click on the family tree image to enlarge it.