MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell

Like a Flower in Bloom
ISBN: 97807642010372
Publisher's Synopsis:
For years Charlotte Withersby has worked as an assistant to her father, an eminent English botanist. As she approaches the old age of twenty-four, her father pushes her out into society, swayed by an uncle who believes God's only two roles for women are marriage and motherhood. When one of the Withersbys' colonial correspondents, Edward Trimble, returns to England, he's drafted as the new assistant so Charlotte is free to marry. This suits Edward's plans quite well, since the last thing he wants to do is reunite with the family he is ashamed to call his own.

Though Edward proves himself vexingly capable on the job, Charlotte won't surrender the job without a fight, and schemes with her best friend to regain her position. Perhaps if a proposal seems imminent, Charlotte's father will see his error and ask her to return. Charlotte tries to make headway in her town's social life, but reveals herself to be unaware of all the intricacies of polite society. Though Edward pitches in, tutoring her in society's expectations, she just seems to make things worse. And the more she comes to know of her father's assistant, the more trouble she has imagining life without him. Caught in a trap of her own making and seeing the hopelessness of her prospects, will Charlotte get to keep her work or will she have to cede her heart?

MrsK's Review:
He Stole the work she loved.
Will she let him steal her heart as well?

Charlotte Withersby is allowed to work with her father (a botanist). Charlotte's passion for plants and flowers and writing about them is all she wants to be doing. Should it matter that she is close to turning twenty-four?

It is 1852 in Cheshire England, and Charlotte has been cataloging, illustrating, writing, and publishing what the world thinks is her father's research ever since her mother's death. Although her ancestry has carried on botanical research, her uncle (the Admiral) has convinced her father that it is time for Charlotte to enter the world of society and find a husband.

With the arrival of a wooden chest filled with spoiled specimens, Charlotte's life becomes "cluttered" with changes, frustrations, social engagements, and unexpected friendships. Edward Trimble proves to be the most annoying "replacement" in her life. With the help of Miss Templeton, Charlotte embarks on a plan that will restore her every day life back to its former routines without the annoyance of a husband.

With snappy conversations, quick wit, and determination every new engagement and encounter is a delightful and entertaining experience. The settings are comfortably detailed. The intricate precision about the plants and flowers will engage any gardener's heart. The humorous thoughts and reactions of a young lady just learning society etiquette will provide many smiles and giggles.

The gentleness of Charlotte's "blossoming" as a woman is endearing. As a reader you will be protective of her passion, you will giggle when she is learning the art of conversation, and you will become invested in her future.

Charlotte's strength and passion makes for a refreshing read. With so many books to read... it is often these gently told stories in which a "thumb-print" is left within your heart and upon your mind. This story will take its place next to Anne of Green Gables and A Girl of the Limberlost.

As a flower unfolds its beauty, so to will this novel...
Enjoy your discovery of an early botanist in a world that requires a woman to "bloom" beyond her passions,
Beautifully Entertaining... Added to my shelf.
Meet the Author:  
Siri Mitchell  has written nearly a dozen novels, three of which were named Christy Award finalists. A graduate of the University of Washington with a business degree, she has worked in many levels of government and lived on three continents. She and her family currently reside in the D.C. metro area.   As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters. 
"I received this book for free for this review."

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