Author: Xavier Axelson
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 84 Pages
At a Glance: Lavender is a study in healing after being torn apart. It is honest, unvarnished and often difficult to read, and yet beautiful in its resolution.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Following the sudden death of his father, Lawrence “Law” Crow must not only comfort his bereaved mother, but also find the strength to continue running the family business, a local and beloved lavender farm in the mountains of northern California. At first, consumed with his own grief and struggling to find meaning in life, Law indulges in his vices, mainly by surrendering to his sexual urges with numerous men, all in a desperate battle to forget his pain and to end the emotional turmoil tearing him apart.
But when a stunningly handsome and passionate Spanish soccer player named Garbi suddenly crosses his path, Law discovers light in the possibility of love. Does Garbi have the ability to heal Law’s shattered heart, provide him with purpose, and help him fully embrace the joy of living once again amidst the beautiful and fragrant lavender fields?
Review: Law is immersed in loss. His father died suddenly in the very fields of lavender he loved, leaving behind a grieving widow and a son who is lost and unable to find his way back. Law has returned from school to work the family lavender farm, only to discover that his father was the life-blood of the place. Now his mother must flee to her home country of France before the burden of her grief destroys her, leaving Law to carry on and not only run the family business but, more importantly, to disperse his father’s ashes on the fragrant acres he loved tending.
Mind and heart numb, Law lets loose, using countless nameless hookups filled with empty sex to drive him near to the point of breaking. He is angry and takes that hurt and despair out on whomever he couples with—until a man rolls into town who will change all of that, and more. It was a weekend trip—a soccer tournament—one of so many for the Spanish team whose star, Garbi, was to leave after the three-day stint. By sheer accident, the team bus stops by the lavender farm, and Law and Garbi meet, changing the destructive path Law had been skirting and reminding him that life is meant to be lived.
Once again author Xavier Axelson lays bare the soul of his character and explores the darkest of places inside a grieving heart. With poetic grace, this author exposes Law’s grief and asks us to share in the experience as painful and raw as it may be. Be forewarned, there is sex, lots of it, and it is angry and desperate and not really pretty as we watch Law lose himself right before our eyes. Although Garbi is essentially Law’s savior, their couplings are not of a romantic nature; rather, they are almost brutal at times—pushing Law to succumb rather than conquer, forcing his grief out into the open at last.
Lavender is a study in healing after being torn apart. It is honest, unvarnished and often difficult to read, and yet beautiful in its resolution. It is a gorgeously written novella that allows us to watch a grieving man reach the place where life can begin again, and leaves us hopeful that love will find its home amongst the lavender fields once again.
You can buy Lavender here: