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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Three women. Three generations. Three love stories. All centered on the romantic aura of lilacs. Sara’s marriage was short, her husband lost at sea. Her passion for her lost love never dwindled and, though others tried to court the pretty young widow, no one had the key to her heart that her husband had – the power of the lilacs. Now, in her eighties, she brings a bouquet of lilacs to her husband’s grave, then, reminiscing, lies on top of the mound that covers him. In her dreams, she rekindles the love of her youth. Her daughter, Maggie, discovers the love letters she had saved from her husband and wants to rekindle their youthful romance. JoAnn, Sara’s granddaughter, has a chance encounter with an old flame and rediscovers the reasons she married someone else. True love lasts forever. As grandmother Sara recalled: “I’ve never been able to pass a lilac bush without thinking of him, and the tenderness of early love. I’ve spent my life looking to find that moment again, the one perfect moment, of lilacs.”
Ute Carbone’s trilogy collection of short stories, The Lilac Hour: A Short Story Trilogy, captures the enduring passion of young love. Each story is told in the first-person narrative and traces the compelling love story that connects with lilacs and the imperious lilac hour. The descriptions and the dialogues are intense and pull the reader into the story as the romance develops. Each story is told with warmth and compassion and the reader aches along with the narrator, wanting to feel the powerful love the narrator feels. A very passionate collection of generational love stories.