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Flowers from the Storm Mass Market Paperback – 14 Aug 2003
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Apparently driven mad by a tragedy, London's most famous rakehell is saved by the healing love of a woman who once feared the tormented nobleman.
About the Author
Laura Kinsale is a winner and multiple nominee for the Best Book of the Year award given by the Romance Writers of America. She became a romance writer after six years as a geologist -- a career which consisted of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and driving hundreds of miles alone across west Texas to sit at drilling rigs, wear a hard hat, and attempt to boss around oil-covered males considerably larger than herself. This, she decided, was pushing her luck. So she gave all that up to sit in a chair and stare into space for long periods of time, attempting to figure out What-Happens-Next. She and her husband David currently divide their time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Texas.
Top customer reviews
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I was overwhelmed with emotion!.. What an authoress Julia Kinsale is to write so connectedly with all of us her devoted readers. The whole book is just a treat! It will ring you out emotionally and lift you up with such joy and delight again. I actually read a soul-fulfilling part of it for days.. maybe even a fortnight as I could not bear for it to end. Never once did this book disappoint. I can only say the the cover was a bit uncharacteristic for such a prize and perfect read! (i.e. the cover with a half naked guy holding flowers in his hand. I gather he is a well loved romance model). It could just put some readers off reading this book and that would be most unfortunate.
I won't try and tell the whole story - go to Caz's Reading Room if you want an in-depth and, in my opinion, wholly accurate profile of the book. Suffice it to say, that this novel is extraordinary and stays with you long after you have finished it. I highly recommend it.
I loved this book. Maddygirl is heroic, filled with quiet strength and yet flawed as only the best characters can be. And Shev...what a journey. Laura Kinsale has got right into every frustrated thought and explosive word and worked a miracle to pull this character through with out resorting to clanging insights from the modern world. Yes it is hard to read, at times frustratingly so, but only in this way can you truly feel the awfulness of the of the 'buffle-head' struggle and revel in the unfolding story of romance, inner strength and finally love. This book is a keeper and I am off to explore Laura's other offerings
The basic story is the Duke of Jervaulx, a womanising rake with an unexpected genius for mathematics, suddenly becoming unwell and ending up in an asylum. Our 21st century eyes tell us he’s had a stroke, but I suppose in the 19th century these things weren’t understood and his inability to communicate meant that he ended up incarcerated.
Our heroine, Maddy, is a quaker girl who looks after her father – also a mathematician – and through her father’s work with Jervaulx she first meets him, before his stroke, when he is the darling of society. He barely notices her initially, although he is charming when she and her father spend some time with him at a meal.
Then his stroke, he disappears and with that his promise of a mathematics chair for her father at a seat of learning, causing Maddy eventually to have to take a job working in an asylum to make ends meet. Where she meets Jervaulx again.
Some people have commentated that it’s tiring trying to understand what he’s saying and what he understands Maddy is saying in this part of the book. Indeed it is, that’s the whole point. The frustrations that a very intelligent man must feel when reduced to almost child-like abilities is brilliantly portrayed. His vacillating emotions, his anger at Maddy when she doesn’t understand him, are beautifully written.
I thought that most of the book would take place in the asylum but no, Maddy helps Jervaulx to get well enough to go home – at least to have his sanity officially questioned so that his grasping relatives can try to get their hands on his money. The story twists and turns in unexpected directions but is throughout so well written that we are carried along with them both, rooting for them to find a way to exist together in an unfriendly world.
This is a love story which is gently drawn and the two main characters come from utterly different social backgrounds and ways. Laura Kinsale has done a brilliant job of portraying Maddy’s Quakerism and how that affects her relationship with Jervaulx. Several portions of this book brought tears to my eyes, and that doesn’t happen very often.
It is clear that Laura Kinsale is very familiar with her historical period – there were none of those awful errors that American authors often make, such as carriage journeys round England taking just half a day. She knows London of the time and none of her characters do anything which isn’t right for the period. Bravo!
What would have really ruined this book was if Jervaulx got completely better. He doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter. He has been shown as a man whose utterly heedless life is completely turned around and who understands far more Maddy’s worth in comparison to his own. He was a duke and she a nobody, but he learns to understand her true value and the valueless nature of worldly rank.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough
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So I'm just going to die over here with the sheer joy and happiness that was this book. It was everything you could want in a historical romance.Read more