LIKE A FLOWER IN BLOOM
He Stole the Work She Loved.
Will She Let Him Steal Her Heart as Well?
It's all her uncle's fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she's reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte's future--the only proper future for a woman--is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.
Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he'll soon change his mind...and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society--a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.
Things aren't perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She'll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she's most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?
Oh mercy, but I've been wrestling over how to review this book because it's sooooooo good I'm sure I can't convey it in all it's wonderfulness with mere words. You need to see my grinning face and happy dancing feet and feed off my enthusiastic aura in order to get the full effect Like a Flower in Bloom had on me.
Hysterically funny. Honestly, I chortled and chuckled my way through the whole book. Sometimes I even had to stop and let loose with a hearty guffaw before I could continue reading. The dialogue is priceless. So is Charlotte and long-suffering Mr. Trimble who seem to always be talking at cross purposes.
Mitchell takes a satirical look at the oh-so-prim-and-proper Victorian era and the absurdity of their social niceties by dropping poor, hapless Charlotte into their midst. She's an intelligent woman, a scientific thinker, but might as well be in a foreign country without the benefit of knowing the language for all the ease with which she navigates the unchartered waters of high society.
Using first person narrative gives the reader the full effect of every nuance as we only see things happening from Charlotte's perspective. But we're also a bit socially wiser than the heroine so we understand the implications of a phrase or a look long before Charlotte does. Somehow that makes the read even more fun. And sometimes poignant. Because as much as this is a cunning comedic masterpiece, it is also a pointed look at what it means to appreciate yourself -- and others -- for who they are rather than what society expects them to be.
I'm positive that everyone is sure to be as enraptured with Like a Flower in Bloom as I am. It's not only one for the keeper shelf, but a book I will undoubtedly read more than once because it is just that clever.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Like a Flower in Bloom please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 4 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!