Title: The Art of Arranging Flowers
Author: Lynne Branard
Publication Date: 2014
Ruby Jewell is known and loved throughout the small Washington town of Creekside for her talent in creating the perfect flower arrangement for every person and any situation. Along with her trusty dog Clementine, she has been a fixture of kindness and dependability. Haunted by her upbringing and the death of her sister Daisy, Ruby finds solace and safety within the confines of her flower shop. Her customers rely on her for helping to remember an anniversary, knowing the perfect house-selling plant display, and creating a memorable arrangement for a special celebration. Knowing the right flowers keeps Ruby grounded in her sheltered, controlled, and lonely life.
New people begin to enter her life that disrupt her control. A young boy, who has lost his mother and lives with his grandmother, seeks the routine and responsibility of helping out in the flower shop. A new veterinarian’s concern for both her and her dog’s well-being begins to chip at her outer shell and question what might be. A well-known astronaut and scholar introduces her to the stars and their greater meaning in the universe. Ruby must decide whether to shut these newcomers out or welcome them into her existence. A cast of entertaining and meaningful characters parade in and out of her store; their sometimes flawed, but human personalities, remind Ruby that life does and can go on.
I really enjoyed this book! I picked it up for $4.00 on the Barnes and Noble bargain table because the summary sounded sweet. It is a sweet story but one that really allows the reader to see the development of the human heart and soul. I felt a connection to Ruby and was genuinely interested in what happened to the other characters in the book. I especially enjoyed how the author didn’t spend too much time over-detailing the events in the book. Time passes and the pacing parallels how life moves; sometimes flying by in a blur, and sometimes heart-breakingly slow.
The book is a quick read; that isn’t to say that it is without depth but rather that it moves in a consistent pace. I would describe the book as a quiet read. It is one that will be enjoyed, shared, and then moved beyond.
Who might like this book:
The story will leave the reader contented. It isn’t a hard book to follow, so you can easily pick it up and put it down. There are some good parallels between flower arranging and life that book clubs might enjoy discussing.