The Art of Arranging Flowers epitomizes everything that should be found the genre called "gentle reads." The story follows several months in the life of Ruby Jewel, the town's only florist. In a quiet and almost invisible manner, Ruby creates the floral arrangements that save marriages, move an anonymous admiration to spoken words of love, and even offer healing and hope. Despite a rough childhood and crippling loss of her younger sister, through the art of her flowers, Ruby has created a good life for herself. Ruby's heart is as tender and beautiful as her name, yet she always kept it sheltered from love and has instead lived vicariously through her customers. The Art of Arranging Flowers is packed with interesting secondary characters which make this an ensemble book, not merely a story about one woman. The pace and the style of narration fit the story, unfolding quietly and tenderly, but as warm as a summer's eve.
Lynne Branard has written several other successful titles under the name Lynne Hinton, Pie Town and Welcome Back to Pie Town being among my favorites. While those books had my mouth watering for fresh homemade pie, The Art of Arranging Flowers had me imagining each bouquet and its unique blossoms. I actually wished there had been illustrations or photos to accompany the text. And the fragrance of those blooms. How can we as readers capture that? And I read the book, I began to think about the wonderful arrangements my own mom created with the glads, zinnias, and dahlias she grew in her large flower beds. Only now that she's gone, do I truly appreciate what love she put into those vases.
For a good read with a light touch, perfect for that summer afternoon on the deck, I recommend The Art of Arranging Flowers. It'll be as refreshing as your raspberry ice tea. I received an e-copy of this book from NETGALLEY for my honest review.