Author: Lynne Hinton
First Published: June 3, 2014
Genres: Chick Lit, Women's Fiction
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.
The Art of Arranging Flowers is a story about learning to open oneself up to the possibility of love and healing. It is a beautifully written small-town contemporary about Ruby, a florist that seems to know everything about everyone. She carefully arranges flowers for each person, using the language of flowers to make a perfect bouquet for every occasion. The descriptions were interesting, but I’ll admit that it became really tiresome. Ruby details every single flower and every single bouquet throughout the novel, which is a lot.
The story follows a rather large cast of characters and there were quite a few times early on that I had to backtrack to remember who was who. The plot was a little predictable at times, but I didn’t care all that much and found myself flying through the pages. The denizens of Creekside are charming and they each had their own story. I liked all of the characters and I can’t think of a single one that I disliked.
I liked that Ruby’s transformation is gradual, but she still retains much of who she is in the process. I also loved that romance, while it was there, took a backseat to everything else. The immediate word that comes to mind when I think of this book is “delightful.” It was overall just pleasant to read, I had a hard time putting it down, though it seems like one of those types of books that is easy to forget once it’s over.
“Sometimes we think there is supposed to be this great spiritual awakening that happens before we make a change in our lives. We expect some ‘aha’ moment, some beautiful enlightening experience to shape us into the people we want to be, but sometimes it just happens from the circumstances in our lives that present themselves.”
Trigger Warning: Dog Harmed in Attack by Another Animal