You can judge a book by its cover, it seems.
Yes, I readily admit I wanted to read this book on the strength of its pretty cover alone. And for once, it turned out to be a good move because I found The Flower Arrangement a total treat.
I’ve read books with food porn and chocolate porn and wine porn, but I can’t remember reading any with flower porn, and despite my lack of floral knowledge or interest in gardening in general, I loved that aspect. The descriptions of the flowers were not only gorgeous, they also matched and added to the plot.
The plot, now that I bring it up, is basic. Girls love boys, but boys don’t always, or can’t always, love girls, leading to angst and tantrums and tears. Sounds simple. Yet…
Like many other chicklit novels, The Flower Arrangement has a multitude of characters and their stories are each linked. In this case, linked by a flower shop. We get plots and subplots of the shop’s owner, her relatives, friends, and customers.
Griffin doesn’t only take time to write beautifully descriptive passages on flowers, she’s also taken care to flesh out some very appealing characters in the novel. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book using the multi-character format where I haven’t been bored, disinterested or annoyed by at least one character. This time, I enjoyed reading about the life of each. I find this a feat in itself!
Unlike a lot of chicklit, I can’t say I laughed much. Instead I cried quite a few times. And yes, I was cheering on the romance for some pairings.
Those who want more than just romance should still be happy. I found Griffin’s writing quite thought provoking. Each character and plot has some small piece of wisdom to bestow upon the reader. The lessons are woven into the story well though, meaning you’re never feeling like you should bow down to the writer who’s offering some super intelligent revelation.
Small spoiler: The book has unanswered questions and unresolved situations on the last page, and this is another thing that usually makes me wail and cry and screw up my face in frustration and annoyance. However, on this occasion, I was still satisfied with the endings we did get and am happy for the book to finish there. Or for it to one day have a sequel. Or for this to become the first in a series. Or for the characters to turn up as supporting characters in another book. See, I’m just happy all round and can’t even find the strength to whinge about the ending even!
The Irish setting wasn’t particularly important, or should I say it seemed universal. The stories include struggles that most of us could face no matter where we lived.
Interestingly, I did have a rant to someone once that I find all Irish chicklit easy to read and relate to, much more so than American or English books of the genre. I supposed at the time that it could be that Australia is full of people from Irish descent and we’re on the same wavelength. The Flower Arrangement hasn’t made me change my mind on this theory and once again, I’ve struck gold with an Irish author and am adding this straight to my ‘favourites’ list. 5/5