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"Like a Flower in Bloom" was a very pleasant surprise. I've only read a few of Siri Mitchell's other books, and have done so with mixed results, but I've never been overly crazy about any of them. I enjoy this time period, however, and the plot sounded interesting, so I thought I would give it a try. I never expected to be so charmed by the characters or the story!
Charlotte Withersby is an intelligent and endearing character who tries to fit into others' notions of the way a lady ought to behave, when all she really wants to do is continue her work in botanical research. With very little training in, or understanding of, the customs and etiquette expected, Charlotte's forays into society often result in amusing situations that had me laughing out loud more than once. Elizabeth Sastre does a brilliant job of bringing the characters to life and really conveying the personality and quirks of each one. She has done several books that I have listened to recently, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators.
Siri Mitchell has clearly done her research, and she includes a lot of information in the book. One of the issues that I have had in the past with her writing is that it can get so bogged down in detail that it detracts from the story ("A Constant Heart" comes to mind). Here, though, Mitchell shares the results of her research in a way that engages and entertains all while adding to the plot.
Although I would consider the story to be clean and inspirational, it was not terribly religious. I realize people have different views on that (I personally prefer a bit more of a spiritual message, but I know others don't). God is mentioned and there are a few religious conversations, mainly because one of the characters is a rector, but I definitely never felt like I was being preached at. Ultimately, the main takeaway is that you should be true to yourself because, to borrow the wisdom of one Dr. Seuss, "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
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If you could sum up Like a Flower in Bloom in three words, what would they be?
Funny, Endearing, Inspiring - A thoroughly entertaining story, with endearing characters and frequent comedic interactions, that leaves me valuing the unique qualities within myself and other people.
What other book might you compare Like a Flower in Bloom to and why?
I suppose this is similar to Jane Austen's books in that it is witty, entertaining, points out flaws in "proper" societal rules, and has a very appealing (and clean) love story. (Although I hate comparing it to anything since it is such a wonderful book on its own merit).
Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Sastre – was your favorite?
Elizabeth Sastre did an incredible job with all the characters. Her narration enhanced the well-written book. Not only did she differentiate all the characters, she did a fantastic job of capturing the personalities and emotions of the various characters. Her performance was exceptional and made the book even more delightful. I would definitely recommend this audio version over the written book because Elizabeth's performance added so much to the characters.
Any additional comments?
This is one of my favorite books (out of hundreds of audio books I have listened to). The heroine of the book has a direct/Asperger-ish personality and her view of society's rules is refreshing. How the other characters in the book interact with her, and each other, is funny and charming. A wonderful story about embracing our unique gifts and talents. This book also tackles the limitations of "acceptable" occupations for women during that time period. Make sure to listen to the author's notes at the end of the book, very interesting information. Siri Mitchell did an excellent job researching the time period and weaving facts into her story!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful