I wanted to like this popular book about redemption more than I did.
It started out with great promise and after the first third I thought I would be a fan raving of this engrossing, atmospheric read. But then characters started doing things I didn’t think they would do in the real world and my enthusiasm flagged. The main character, a bristly, bitter girl who aged out of and was broken by the foster care system, kept making colossally bad choices way past when it made sense to me for her to do so.
And while the language of flowers was an interesting plot vehicle, I couldn’t embrace it, since it promoted superstition. Furthermore, it maligned some of my favorite flowers. Gorgeous peonies represent anger? I don’t thinks so and don’t buy it.
All in all this book was a disappointment probably because I had great hopes for it as so many people I respect have mentioned that it must be read. And a reviewer on the book jacket says it is “unabashedly romantic?” What? That is not even remotely true unless you think misery and mistrust are idyllic.
I’d give it 3.5 stars. I won’t be urging anyone else to read it.