The Art of Arranging Flowers Library Binding – 3 Jun 2014
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Praise for "The Art of Arranging Flowers"
"I devoured this book...There is art and beauty in this story that will linger after the final scene."--Debbie Macomber, #1 "New York Times" bestselling author of "Rose in Bloom "and" Starry Night"
"An expertly penned and tender tale about the blossoming of hearts amidst the storms of loss and grief."--Richard Paul Evans, #1 "New York Times" and "USA Today "bestselling
"Captured my heart on the first page...A beautiful novel filled with tender wisdom and unforgettable characters who understand love, loss, and the alchemy of just the right flowers."--Luanne Rice, "New York"" Times" bestselling author of "The Lemon Orchard"
"Branard is a masterful storyteller who understands the human heart and all its trials, tribulations, and joys...A pure delight to read."--Darien Gee, international bestselling author of "The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society"
"Ruby Jewell is an enormously compelling character...I felt genuinely protective of her...[This] is a rare blossom of a book, delicate and lovely, that will stay fresh in my memory for a long time to come."--Marie Bostwick, author of "Between Heaven and Texas"
About the Author
Lynne Branard is a pseudonym for "New York Times "bestselling author Lynne Hinton. She has written more than a dozen books, including "Friendship Cake," "Pie"" Town," and "Welcome Back to Pie Town."
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have a basic familiarity with common materials used by a florist shop in constructing all types of arrangements using plants and flowers, you will be right at home with the information in the novel. There isn't an attempt to overwhelm the reader with botanical information, just to explain the thought process Ruby used when designing flowers for a specific customer for a specific event. This is a lovely example of the language of flowers. These arrangements were described in such wonderful detail that I was easily able to picture the finished arrangement in my mind. As the reader gets to know Ruby and her reasons behind using specific materials in an order we also get to know the customer or friend or neighbor the arrangement is for with the backstory of what is happening to them which brings them to this time in their life. As with any florist shop there are orders precipitated by births, deaths, proms, weddings, surgeries, dire diagnoses, civic and church functions or other social occasions requiring the decorating power of flowers. Intertwined with all the flowers are the stories of Ruby's own past tragedies and the sadness or happiness for those close to her.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This was a well constructed, fast flowing novel. I will look forward to more books under this pen name by an already established writer.
Plot 4.75 out of 5 Character development 4.75 out of 5 Pacing 4.75 out of 5 Book average 4.75
Full disclosure: ARC of this book was provided courtesy of publisher without any recompense or review expectations.
This story is so beautifully written! The author weaves Ruby's tell so intricately with the work she does as a florist that it flows seamlessly. I never knew flowers could be so beautiful or mean so many different things to different people, but that is what makes Ruby's character so special. With her arrangements that she works so hard on, she creates not only a visual masterpiece, but also a heartfelt one as well. Using different elements and colors to promote love, health, and forgiveness, Ruby is special to those who know her, yet she doesn't know it at the beginning of the story. To Ruby she is alone.
Nora and Jimmy, her employees and closest friends, know her best and slowly work on breaking the wall around her heart. Then enter Will, a young orphan with a passion for flowers, and Ruby opens herself fully to him, understanding his grief unlike anyone else. Their bond is so sweet, I just fell in love with little Will, and Ruby says it best:
"[Children] seem to unfold the easiest. They're the ones who love with abandon, the ones who keep putting their hearts out there to be broken. They're the ones who teach the rest of us what it is to love."
And Ruby learns this from Will. Then there's Captain Miller, a former astronaut who is dying and takes it upon himself to slowly bring Ruby back to life. His wisdom and guidance, but most importantly his friendship is just what Ruby needs.
For anyone that has lost a loved one, especially one that died before their time, it is easy to relate with Ruby. The author portrays very real feelings and even after twenty years the heartbreak and loneliness of losing that loved one. This story deals with love and death in a way that I've never read before. I loved every word! Though this book is geared towards an older audience, it's message and meaning can go for all ages. With hints of Christianity throughout the story, I would recommend this to anyone looking for an inspirational, up-lifting read.
***I received a copy of this ebook for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***
"The Art of Arranging Flowers tells a wonderful story about the healing of a wounded spirit. The book flows from one page to the next. Though it appears the be a simple novel, the theme is complex.
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
Ruby Jewell, owner of the Flower Shoppe, has arranged flowers for the residents of Creekside, Washington, for the last 20 years. She tries to put all of her energy in helping the residents who have also become her friends, but she still can’t ignore how much she misses Daisy, her sister, who died. The only thing that kept Ruby from crawling in the grave after Daisy was the flowers. Ruby learned about flowers, about their properties and how they affect people, and the flowers brought her back from the brink of oblivion.
She and her dog, Clementine, greet friends every day, and Ruby puts together bouquets to help, to heal, to project positive energy and encourage positive thoughts. She banters easily with Nora, her assistant, and Jimmy, her delivery person, both recovering alcoholics who have decided to rebuild their lives. For the most part, Ruby feels satisfied with her life.
Things change, however, when a new veterinarian moves to town to take over the practice of the previous vet. Ruby notices the man, and this bothers her. She doesn’t have time in her life for a man, and she certainly doesn’t want the complications. She’s arranged flowers long enough to know just how a romantic relationship can go wrong.
Fortunately her life offers her several diversions. A young boy shows up on her doorstep one day asking for a job, and the resident celebrity (a former astronaut) starts to show some interest in her by asking her to events and initiating interesting conversations with her. With the latest love stories blooming right in front of her, Ruby knows she should keep her attention on her work. So why can’t she get the vet out of her mind?
Author Lynne Branard attempts to romance her readers with the beauty of flowers; instead, readers will spend much of their time skimming paragraphs and pages while they look for the meat of the story. Unfortunately most of the action happens behind the scenes. Readers will only find out about major events after they’ve happened, either through Ruby’s first-person narrative or through dialogue between characters.
This storytelling choice will frustrate readers, especially because Branard uses her space to describe flowers instead. Colors, shapes, their helpful properties—readers will find out more than they could ever imagine or want to know about flowers. Had Branard carefully woven the flower descriptions with her story, she would have created a powerful novel. The actual result, however, comes across as tedious. Branard tries to ground the novel with background details of Ruby’s sister’s life and death, but these hints don’t ever develop into anything substantial.
Most annoying of all comes in the fact that Branard develops the main love story—between Ruby and the vet—in the background. The man barely makes an appearance. In fact, Ruby spends more center stage time with her astronaut friend, and readers shouldn’t feel guilty if they start wondering whether the romance will happen between them.
Branard goes for a story as delicate as the flowers she describes but falls far short of the lyrical beauty of something like The Language of Flowers or even The Mistress of Spices. Readers should choose one of those other books instead and give The Art of Arranging Flowers a pass.
I thought this book was a very detailed, beautiful love story all about a woman in her late thirties named Ruby, who blooms along the way with the beautiful flowers she arranges for the townspeople she loves . The townspeople love her just as much, too, and they do little things for her to show it. Ruby goes so far for them as to add extra special flowers to their floral arrangements to help people along, too, such as a sprig of this to fall in love, or a special twig of that to help them heal, just adding that special touch with flowers to the arrangements to try to help the her friends she loves along the way. It's pretty neat how she tucks these in floral arrangements she makes. The people have no clue, but it sets Ruby's heart aflutter to know that just she might be helping them along.
Ruby doesn't know what love is like for herself yet. She's denied allowing herself the opportunity to open her heart to anyone because of the loss in her heart for her dear sister who has passed. She still grieves dearly for her and still dedicates her time to visiting her at the cemetery. Ruby feels like everyone she has ever loved in her life has always been taken away from her since the time she was a little girl, and it has. Ruby does not want to open her heart to have another person she does love to be taken away from her again. Ruby is afraid that death will take them. Little does Ruby know it, but along comes a little boy who loses his mother and he ends up teaching her about love, a dying astronaut teaches her what love is like, what it should feel like, what it could be and how wonderful it is to live and to have love, and living life without love is not living life at all. Not only that, but a special someone has done a few arrangements of their own to help Ruby along so she does finally get that chance at love, the love that without question, will last her a lifetime.
This truly was a beautiful book to read. I really enjoyed watching Ruby blooming along with her flowers she loves so much when she finally gets that chance at love. You'll be surprised at how it happens, the order it happens in, and the special someone who kind of sets it up for her with a few suggestions for a few people. This is a touching story you will never forget. I highly suggest reading this book. I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, Penguin Group and NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about it. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to do so, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it and giving my own honest opinion no matter whether it is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here: [...]., The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition Regulation.