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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to read family saga
I enjoyed this book, it wasn't taxing just an easy to read family saga. An interesting look at complicated family relationships. I read some of the other reviews about this not being up to her usual standard and Erica changing style. I think her style as changed, but I feel that is only natural and right, she has been writing for several years and as with all of us, as...
Published on 16 July 2012 by Jen 24

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The real Katie lavender
An easy novel to read over the Xmas holiday. Not one that I would want to read over again. Would I recommend, no
Published 6 months ago by Nichola Mollison


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to read family saga, 16 July 2012
By 
Jen 24 (Buckinghamshire, England) - See all my reviews
I enjoyed this book, it wasn't taxing just an easy to read family saga. An interesting look at complicated family relationships. I read some of the other reviews about this not being up to her usual standard and Erica changing style. I think her style as changed, but I feel that is only natural and right, she has been writing for several years and as with all of us, as you get older you experience diffrent things and your place in life changes. I think therefore it is only natural that is reflected in an author's fiction. I look forward to her next book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 14 Nov 2011
By 
LEP "LEP" (England) - See all my reviews
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I'm not going to give a synopis because the previous reviewer has already done so, perhaps in too much detail.
I enjoyed this book, it was not really what I expected, if I expected anything, and was indeed better for that.

It shows the cracks in an extended family when a series of crisis hit them. From the outside the Nightingales seem the perfect family. Stirling, the father, well-heeled, with his own successful business that he is in partnership with his brother. Gina, Stirlings wife, beautiful, sophisticated, if somewhat cold, the perfect upper class hostess and wife. Rosco and Scarlet, their somewhat spoilt and over-indulged children. Cecily, Stirling's mother, the matriach, who unfortunately allows the family to see that she has decided favourites amongst them. Neil, the brother and buiness partner and Pen his wife who loves her beautiful garden and spends time there, perhaps at the expense of everything else. Lloyd, their son, who makes bespoke garden furniture.

However, the perfect picture of Stirling's family falls apart under crisis and shows how disfunctional it really is.

Katie and Lloyd are the nicest characters, level headed. Closely followed by Pen, who however, I felt was somewhate unrealistic as a character. I'm not sure that anyone in that situation would be so forgiving, and Cecily; although in fact her favouritism has caused a lot of resentment and the crisis allows this to come to a head. Uber ambitious Rosco resorts to spying on his father and then blackmailing him. Gina becomes the ultimate bitch.
In the end it is the spoilt princess, Scarlet who eventually shows her worth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating, 4 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Real Katie Lavender (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this book. It held me captivated right to the end. Had great trouble putting it down. Yet again Erica James ha not disappointed me, I just wish she could write quicker!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erica James can do no wrong.., 12 Dec 2011
Once again Erica James has ticked all the boxes with this book. I have yet to be disappointed with anything she has written and Katie Lavender is full of believable characters and situations. If you like a good girly read on a wet afternoon this one is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Real Katie Lavender, 13 Mar 2014
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Real Katie Lavender (Kindle Edition)
Katie Lavender suddenly finds her life turned upside down when she loses her job and finds out something shocking about her parents who are both dead. She finds herself involved with the charismatic and complicated Nightingale family just in the middle of a family crisis. Can Katie find out who she really is and what she wants to do with her life in the future?

I did enjoy reading this book though the Nightingale family are something of an acquired taste in my opinion and the book is mainly about them – even more than it is about Katie Lavender. I liked the background to the story – large houses and beautiful gardens where money was really no object. Some of the characters were less than inspiring and if this had been a murder mystery I would happily have murdered them myself!

I thought Stirling Nightingale was probably the most three dimensional character in the book and someone who appeared able to examine his own mistakes and realise where he had gone wrong. His wife, Gina, was a two dimensional harpy and her son Rosco was very much a yuppy who started off caring for no one.

Katie Lavender herself was all right as a character but I found her a little wishy washy. In spite of all these criticisms I did enjoy the book and it did keep me reading probably because of the story line and the background though I thought Cecily and Pen were excellent older characters. I’m sure Erica James’ many fans will love this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The real Katie lavender, 31 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Real Katie Lavender (Kindle Edition)
An easy novel to read over the Xmas holiday. Not one that I would want to read over again. Would I recommend, no
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, boring and full of cardboard stereotypes, 15 May 2013
By 
Usually I really enjoy books by Erica James, but not this one. I took it out of the library and kept renewing it in the fond belief I'd get round to reading the rest of it, but it just wasn't worth the time of effort.

I didn't care about any of the characters, nor did they ring true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 20 April 2013
By 
Mrs. G. E. Thompson "gillt62" (York, England) - See all my reviews
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It was OK but seemed to be somewhat cliched as to an adopted person would feel as they grew up, along with her adopted family and her natural family. I have adoptees in my family and this story does not in any way reflect their experiences. Havig said that I feel it was quite well written
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43 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good read, 7 Nov 2011
By 
Leah Graham (Tenerife) - See all my reviews
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The Real Katie Lavender tells the story of Katie Lavender who, a year after her mother's death, is summoned to a lawyer's office and is told that her mother has left her a letter. A letter that tells Katie that the father she thought was her own wasn't in fact her own father and that her real biological father is called Sterling Nightingale. It rocks Katie's world to its core and Katie sets out to find out exactly who the "real" Katie Lavender is. It may be quite simple of me, but I've always been confused when people in novels find out their life isn't what it was and they suddenly start questioning their entire being. All the "OMG I don't know who I am" has always grated on me. You know who you are, surely, but as I've never gone through something like that, I presume I'm somewhat innocent to it all. I was expecting the novel to perhaps take a while to get to the real crux of the story - of Katie going to find her biological father, but it didn't; it got right to it.

Whilst reading the book I was expecting a fairly sedate read - the covers of Erica's books all look rather peaceful - but it wasn't as sedate as I expected. In fact, there's a lot going on. Not only is Katie looking for Sterling Nightingale to see who he is, but the Nightingale family, as a whole, are dealing with their own issues are Sterling's brother and business partner Neil kills himself. The novel then follows all of the characters as secrets come out and relationships are made and broken and I found it to be a much more complex novel than I expected. Despite the complexities and the numerous characters and storylines flying around, I really, really enjoyed reading the book.

There are lots of characters to keep track of in The Real Katie Lavender, though it's relatively easy. Katie was by far my favourite character, I loved how she conducted herself with the Nightingale's, how she didn't let them drag her down to their levels. I also really, really like Lloyd, Pen and Cecily. All three are the only ones, bar Sterling, who seem to accept and like Katie and I loved them for it. Cecily is the most sprightly 90-year-old I've ever read. I didn't much care for Sterling's side of the family. I can see why they're all hesitant, but Gina, Scarlet and Rosco went above and beyond hesitant and were just plain rude and obtrusive. Sterling was on the fence for me. At times, I liked him, but at times he was just a bit of an idiot and despite understanding his position, it did still grate sometimes how he acted. It was a real mixed bag of characters, some I wanted to hiss at, but for the most part I did like the characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Real Katie Lavender. It surprised me. I was worried starting a novel that was 500 pages long from an author I'd never tried before, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's nice to be proven wrong sometimes and Erica James is definitely an author I would try again. In fact, I think I have Promises, Promises around here somewhere so I may just have to dig it out and give it a read. I would definitely recommend The Real Katie Lavender, it's an excellent novel about finding yourself. It was very addictive reading and I couldn't wait to read more and more and see how it was all going to pan out for everybody involved. I really enjoyed the book and it's a disappointment the cover is so dire because a lot of people will see the cover and be wary, but honestly, the book is worth it and the cover has absolutely no relation to the book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read., 3 Jan 2012
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Bought it for my wife for Xmas, she's read all her other books and this is the latest to add to her collection. Once she starts reading this author she can't put it down and the same with all the other books by Erica James.
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