Book Review

Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell

After a few weeks of being covered in white stuff and some bitterly cold temperatures, I am beginning to be ready to see green and sunshine. Plus, I enjoy all the pops of color that the flowers will add. While I don’t have a green thumb, I do enjoy having a lot of flowers planted in our flowerbeds around our house. There is just something so cheerful about their vibrant colors. I get so excited when I start to see the first buds on the tulips–it means that spring is finally here! Unfortunately for this Michigan girl, it will be a couple of months before that starts to happen…

**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

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?

“Never apologize for being courageous, Miss Withersby.”

-Mr. Stansbury, Like a Flower in Bloom

Characters: Charlotte Withersby is both the heroine and the narrator of this beautiful story, and I loved getting to know her. At 28, she is a bit old to be looking for a husband by society’s standards, and as a woman botanist, she is anything but conventional. Her approach to society and her views on “etiquette” are humorous and fresh. I found her to be quite unique and she is probably going to be one of my favorite characters that I have come across.

Storyline: This novel had a lot to offer in it’s story. Most of it involved the characters learning to come into their own. Charlotte had to accept who she is and figure out what she wanted out of life and this is the bulk of the story. There are a number of characters who come up alongside her and help her to figure out where she fits in the world that she is living in.

My Thoughts:  Like a Flower in Bloom was a joy to read. Refreshing best describes it, I think. It stands out to me as being quite unique for its genre. There were a myriad of floral and botany references, all of which added a bit of depth to the characters. The author definitely did her research with this book as well with a number of references to events that happened in the era concerning botany, flora, and society (the historical in the note points out some of these things). Overall, this was an enjoyable book that I would recommend to anyone who loves stories set in Victorian England.

About the Author:
Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. 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.

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