Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Flower Arrangement: A Novel by Ella Griffin

The Flower Arrangement: A Novel. Ella Griffin. Penguin Publishing Group. October 2016. 352 pp.  ISBN#: 9781101989739.

Blossom and Grow is the name of the lovely Dublin flower shop Lara Gray opens after losing her baby six months into her pregnancy.  In one sense it enables her to bury her grief in work she loves, but in the true essence of this story it connects her to emotions in the customers who come into her shop to buy a single or multiple flowers for each special occasion.  That might be love, sorrow, forgiveness, joy, celebration of a landmark day, etc.  But Lara is so good at it that no one will buy unless she is in attendance as she seems to possess the perfect word, phrase or comment for the moment’s need.

Lara’s Dad was mother and father to her and now he has one concern as he lies in hospital dying.  He wants Lara to have another baby.  After experiencing a healing moment while delivering flowers to a new mother, she is able to promise him she will try.  However, after he dies, Lara’s conversation with her husband, Michael, leads to a shocking revelation that sends Lara whirling with grief on several levels. 

Her brother Phil, who has always been her biggest supporter, fills in and speaks truth at just the right time. He has his own story intertwined with his sister’s chronicle which at first seems unrelated but is actually part of this novel’s essence of being true to one’s self.

The Flower Arrangement… is a relaxing, satisfying read.  It doesn’t matter whether the reader loves, hates, or couldn’t care either way about the numerous varieties of flowers.  It’s about the rightness of certain flowers expressing the mood of the past, present and future for each person entering Lara’s world of beauty and peace. Honesty, loneliness, grief, bereavement, truth and wisdom fill these pages with wisdom transcending the simplest of plots or characterization.  Nicely crafted and recommended reading!

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