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Publisher's Note:  

A moving and eloquent novel about love, grief, renewal—and the powerful language of flowers.
 
Ruby Jewell knows flowers. In her twenty years as a florist she has stood behind the counter at the Flower Shoppe with her faithful dog, Clementine, resting at her feet. A customer can walk in, and with just a glance or a few words, Ruby can throw together the perfect arrangement for any occasion.
 
Whether intended to rekindle a romance, mark a celebration, offer sympathy, or heal a broken heart, her expressive floral designs mark the moments and milestones in the lives of her neighbors. It’s as though she knows just what they want to say, just what they need.
 
Yet Ruby’s own heart’s desires have gone ignored since the death of her beloved sister. It will take an invitation from a man who’s flown to the moon, the arrival of a unique little boy, and concern from a charming veterinarian to reawaken her wounded spirit. Any life can be derailed, but the healing power of community can put it right again.


READERS GUIDE INSIDE



The Art of Arranging Flowers

by Lynne Branard

Review Date:
12/10/2014

Recommended Age:
18+

Overall Rating:
****

Profanity / Language Rating:
*

Violence / Gore Rating:
**

Sex / Nudity Rating:
***

Overall Review:  

Do you have a passion for flowers? Do they speak to you, or mean more than they might to the average human? Did you absolutely adore The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you will probably enjoy this book. For me, it was a little difficult to get past the similarities it held with The Language of Flowers, but I had heard this book was good and decided to give it a try.

 

I suppose there was nothing really wrong with the story itself, but to me it felt fluffy and almost too "feel-good", and just kind of like a copycat of The Language of Flowers. None of the characters had a lot of depth and the plot was fairly weak and predictable. What I did enjoy was the description of the flowers used to make arrangements, and the way the main character, Ruby Jewell, relates to the flowers she uses. For much of the novel Ruby seems to be taken advantage of. She is a master flower-arranger. As the title implies, it is an art, and when someone knows what they are doing, you can usually tell. Ruby knows which dates she needs an arrangement on weeks before the customer knows they will need one, but despite her adept knowledge of her craft, she might need a little taking care of here and there, even if it's easier to deny it than face it. I think there are times in our lives where we all try to take too much control, when really, we need to just let someone else step in for a bit. That seems to be the situation Ruby is in.

 

Although at times I felt like I wasn't reading a book that meant a whole lot, there is a deeper meaning behind much of what happens in The Art of Arranging Flowers. When I got to the very last page, I was glad I read the book, and although I probably won't be looking for more books by this author, this story was one that left me feeling good when I was finished with it, which is better than feeling let down or disappointed!


Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation.

 

Violence/Gore:  A father is mentioned to abuse his children; children bully a peer; a minor hits another minor with their fist; a child is mentioned to be abandoned.

 

Sex/Nudity:  Adults kiss several times; sex is implied between adults; a man is mentioned to be cheating on his wife.



Mature Subject Matter:  

Death, cancer, loss, personal crises, abandonment.



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Drug use is mentioned; a woman is described to be a drug addict.



Reviewed By Lydia
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