Golden peonies bowing their heads beneath blue delphinium bells. Delicate pink anemones threaded between freckled green orchids. Soft apricot roses woven together with velvety purple irises.
Every bouquet tells a story.
And every story begins at Blossom & Grow, a tiny jewel-like flower shop in the heart of Dublin. Here, among the buckets of fragrant blooms, beneath the flickering candles and lanterns, Lara works her magic. Translating feelings into flower arrangements that change hearts and lives.
But what about her own heart? Has she really healed since she lost her chance to be a mother? What will happen when her own story takes a sudden turn?
Can the flowers that heal the customers work their magic on the florist?
Drawing together a delightful cast of characters, Ella Griffin brings her warmth, wit and wisdom to a captivating tale woven around a Dublin florist.
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published May 28th 2015 by Orion
Three and a half stars: A book with lovely writing, a cozy setting and a mix of eclectic and interesting characters, but there are too many story lines that are left open and a lot of heartache.
Lara flicks on the fairy lights and eyes her little floral shop with its shelves bursting in a profusion of bright flowers and color. Her little shop is what saved her from unbearable heartache, and in its quiet confines, she has found a life amongst the flowers and her customers. Lara firmly believes that the flowers choose the people, and that every flower and every customer that comes into her shop has a story to tell. Some stories are of heartache, pain and betrayal, while others are of love and hope. Lara is still battling her own demons, and hopefully her little shop will work its magic. What stories will the customers and flowers tell today?
What I Liked:
- The Flower Arrangement is a book I picked up wanting a light and fluffy read. It wasn't as light and as heartwarming as I hoped, but I was drawn in by the cozy shop, the flowers and the stories. I loved seeing how the customers' stories overlapped. I liked the shop and the setting, and I enjoyed most of the characters and their stories.
- I was impressed by the writing. I thought the author did a terrific job with the descriptions. She was able to create a cozy, little floral shop, and she did well describing the flowers, the people and their stories. I loved her metaphors.
- There are many characters that come and go during the story. Some of their stories are just quick visits, while others are more detailed and they interweave with other characters. I was drawn to many of them, the young, single mother, the two women in the same apartment complex, one with a baby and a marriage that was struggling, the other with a cheating boyfriend. Lara was the glue, the constant in the story with her little shop, and I was always pleased when the story returned to her. I enjoyed the way the story shifted, and I liked seeing how everything pieced together.
- Even though I was hoping this would be a little lighter and more fluffy, I appreciated that there was an array of emotion. Some of the characters are bearing heavy burdens as they endure loss and heartache, while others are finding new paths in life and love. I liked that the other kept it real, and though I wished there were more happy endings, it was true to life and realistic. It was a book that made me happy and it made me cry.
- I adored Lara's little shop, Bloom and Grow. I could almost see the fairy lights, candles and lanterns nestled amongst all the bright blooms. It was such a lovely, cozy place. I longed to visit there.
And The Not So Much:
- While I appreciated the realism, I was frustrated that too many of the story lines were abandoned before some type of resolution. I wanted to know what happened to Noah, the old man with Alzheimer's and whether Jenny kicked out her boyfriend. I was especially disappointed with the way Lara's story ended. I needed more.
- The ending was a conundrum. It ends abruptly, almost like a cliffhanger. I was left wondering what happened with Lara. Perhaps there is going to be another novel? I hope so because too much was left undone for my taste.
- Some of the story lines that ended up being lengthy went nowhere and they failed to impress. What happen with Mia? What about Ben? I didn't like that so much time was spent on some story lines and then they were just forgotten.
- There was a great deal of sadness, and I wanted desperately for this to have more happy endings.
The Flower Arrangement was a nice book with lovely writing and interesting characters. I liked seeing how the varied story lines came together. I picked this up hoping for a nice, chick lit read, but I found this one to be a little too sad, and I was frustrated by the fact that many of the story lines were abandoned before they reached a resolution. I was also disappointed in the open ending. Still I did like the book, and I would recommend it, just don't expect it to be a light and fluffy read.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.