Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard (Review)

If you love heart-warming stories with a good cast of characters and the beauty of flowers, this one is a very satisfying read. 


Title: The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard
Category: Adult Fiction, 322 pages
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Published on: June 3, 2014
Content Rating: PG + M (a couple of religious expletives, themes of family abuse, alcoholism and death)


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.

Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

The Art of Arranging Flowers is a feel-good novel centered on Ruby Jewell, the florist of a close-knit community. Ruby has lost the closest person to her: her sister Daisy. They did not have an ideal upbringing, and this loss was devastating to her. So although Ruby uses her flower arrangements to bring love into people's lives, she is guarded with her own heart. 

This changes when three people enter into her life: 10-year-old Will who moves into town to live with his grandparents after the death of his mother, Dan the former astronaut who befriends Ruby and teaches her about taking life risks, and John the new vet whose blue eyes make her heart beat faster. These, along with a crew of interesting characters, form the world in which Ruby blossoms in this character-driven story.

I enjoyed the way the author made flowers almost like characters of their own in this novel. Each flower played a part in its arrangement and symbolized something, such as love, strength, virility, peace, friendship, etc. I learned so much about flowers! And it gave me a new appreciation for these beautiful creations that bring joy into our lives. There is a flower for every occasion. 

I also enjoyed Ruby's relationship with her beloved dog Clementine. He was an important character and I loved their interactions. The only character that I thought was under-developed was John, the vet. I thought there could have been more scenes with him.

If you love heart-warming stories with a good cast of characters and the beauty of flowers, this one is a very satisfying read. It's about grieving and acceptance, finding family, and appreciating the language and the beauty of flowers.

Disclosure: Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.



Lynne Branard is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling author Lynne Hinton. She has written more than a dozen books, including Friendship Cake, Pie Town, and Welcome Back to Pie Town.

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