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.
Kathryn - 3.5 Star
Full confession- I almost put this book down a few times within the first few chapters. Not because it wasn’t well written or intriguing but because the emotional dance it took through the first few pages made me hurt and I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be hurting. I have to confess that there wasn’t much of the lighthearted in this novel. By the cover you’d expect some lighter romantic notions but I found the whole things very subdued on the romance front and very heavy on the aspect of loss.
I found Lara to be very hopeful at her core but she is plagued by a series of losses in her life that would take their toll on the most upbeat of people. The story centers round her but brings in a number of shorter vignettes by way of the customers in her flower shop. We are given chapters dedicated to a character who passes through Lara’s life and each of their stories has some hardship or joy that draws them to buying a bouquet or an arrangement. The aspect of the flowers for each occasion was a bit lost on me. I’m not sure if this is well known knowledge or something the author gave Lara to focus on, either way it was an interesting addition to their stories.
Though difficult to read most of the time I did find myself encouraged by Lara and her relationships. There were some wonderful strong people in her life (like her brother and co-worker) who gave the narrative a lift. On the whole though I’m not sure if I enjoyed the story or simply respected the way it dealt with difficult subjects in a sympathetic way.
Thank you to Penguin Random House for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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