The Flower Arrangement, by Ella Griffin

Ella Griffin’s The Flower Arrangement invites you into the enchanting world of flowers. You will find yourself immersed in delicate blossoms and heady fragrances and will be inspired to take a trip to your local flower shop – no doubt coming away with arms laden – within a few pages of this book.

A personal tragedy finally gave Lara the courage to leave her office job and follow her calling to open a flower shop. Since opening Blossom & Grow she has never looked back. Through the seasons, customers from all walks of life, facing all sorts of life events, find their way to her shop where she weaves her magic, creating perfect bouquets that tell just the right story and relate to the person in just the right way. It is not just for these bouquets that they come – within her shop Lara’s customers find solace. But what happens when the flower arranger’s life falls apart yet again? Will the shop that brought her healing before be able to help her this time?

Each chapter of the book is named after a different flower, with a little description of the qualities that flower embodies, its symbolism. Griffin then tells about different characters whose stories tie in with those qualities. It is a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, for me, there were just so many characters, and before long I felt a bit distracted and lost interest. Usually I quite enjoy books where the lives of different characters intersect, but in this instance I felt like the author’s energy was spread a little too thin and each story was lacking something. While the idea of trying to weave all these people together like a bouquet is refreshing, the execution meant I wasn’t able to really connect with any of the individual parts of the arrangement. That said, I am pleased I pushed on because it was wonderful how everything tied up in the end.

What is lovely is that what The Flower Arrangement demonstrates is how just one person can touch so many lives. This is a book that would have done well to simply centre on that one person, Lara, and her friends and family. These were all such delightful characters and I felt I wanted to get to know them more intimately, I wanted to go deeper into their lives with them, and I felt a bit cheated that I wasn’t able to.

This is still a lovely read, written with care and thoughtfulness. There is a peaceful quality to the book, much like I would expect to find inside Blossom & Grow, and the stories within the pages are touching. Griffin’s writing style is charming and refreshing and I look forward to exploring more of her work.

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TITLE: The Flower Arrangement
AUTHOR(S): Ella Griffin
PUBLISHER: Hachette
RRP: $29.99
ISBN: 9781409145837

Emma is an ardent writer, reviewer and editor. She currently lives in Orange, NSW, where she shares her time between writing, undergraduate studies in Linguistics and French (oui, c’est vrai!), and her “day job” as a yoga teacher. Emma especially enjoys reading women’s fiction, contemporary fiction and the classics.

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