The Art of Arranging Flowers: A Novel. Lynne Branard. Penguin Group (USA). June 2014. 320 pp. ISBN#: 9780425272718.
Ruby Jewell has a heart of gold! She’s a talented florist with her own business, a job that keeps her from the terrible grief of losing her sister. She knows all of the residents of her town and their requests for the perfect arrangement for that special person, standard occasion or unique event make her a well-loved and respected friend to all.
Now Ruby begins to meet certain people whose lives she changes and vice versa. Readers will meet an astronaut, a real estate agent, a veterinarian, a man courting a local librarian, a woman seeking a cure for her cancer and a little boy who carries a question that is heart-rending! While there are scenes of illness and death as well as love and communication about caring, the scenes remain light and are never maudlin!
This reviewer doesn’t know flowers so much and yet I could see how beautiful Ruby’s arrangements are. She also knows the emotional qualities of each flower’s essence and so each is sent with a special quality for each receiver. Clementine, her beloved dog, and Nora, who seems to have a psychic sense of what is happening behind each arrangement and recipient, make for a fascinating read.
Ruby, however, who is so perceptive about others is gradually led by the other characters to realize she also has an unmet need, and the reader will be more than surprised to see how it is fulfilled.
The Art of Arranging Flowers: A Novel is a beautiful, special read in which characters bloom through sharing their lives much as the artfully arrange flowers bloom and glow through tender love and care! Delightful story!