Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Flowers of Grace by Teresa Hirst

Flowers of Grace by Teresa Hirst
Paperback, 332 pages
Published February 20th 2015 by Little Forest Big Spring Press 
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Description: Set in an upscale St. Louis boutique amid a fragile economic climate when retail customers are trading brick and mortar stores for online shopping, Flowers of Grace is a story of love and loss, friendship and forgiveness.

Still mourning a broken engagement, Grace inherits a hibiscus with a legacy she fears she will kill. Doubt in her capacity to nurture anything prompts her to bring the plant into the clothing store she manages, and the dynamic personalities of the female staff band together to help it bloom. Grace and the hibiscus blossom through a wedding and a birth, but its unexpected death pushes her to face false assumptions, opening a path for new love to appear.

The simple gift is more than a plant. When it blooms, so does she. But when it dies, she fears love will too.

My Review: I'm still thinking about the effects this story had on me. Grace is trying to get over a broken engagement and pours everything she has into managing a clothing store. When an employee leaves and gives her a hibiscus plant, Grace just knows she'll kill it, but that plant helps everyone in the store. They all take turns caring for it and nurturing it. Grace takes Trenna, a young woman, under her wing and they become very close. There are joyous moments and moments of grief and through it all, the hibiscus plant is there.

The story is told in a way that really draws upon a reader's emotions. I felt that I was there, dealing with dishonest employees and difficult customers. Grace is portrayed in a way that makes her easy to relate to. Even if a person isn't exactly like her, she has so many experiences and characteristics that are realistic and a person can find even a small part of common ground.

Life is a roller coaster and this novel is no different. There were events that took me by surprise in both good and bad ways. Once there was a big turning point, I had an idea of where the story was headed and I was still surprised and guessing how things would be resolved, right up until the end. This isn't a mystery at all, but just as life hands us unknowns, these characters were given the same lot.

I really grew to care a great deal for Grace and enjoyed the relationships that were forged and the growth that happened throughout the course. This story is one of comfort. "Never say 'thank you' for a plant."

Content: extremely mild romance; no language or violence; very mild religious elements; there is a moderately descriptive birth scene--not graphic, but maybe more than a younger reader would care to know. Clean.
Image of Teresa Hirst 
About the Author:
Teresa Hirst was born in Big Spring, Texas, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, with an imagination and creativity straight from the books she poured through in her childhood. She studied journalism at Brigham Young University and graduated in 1994 with a bachelor of arts in communications. Teresa has worked for a newspaper, in public relations, and as a freelance writer and editor. Today, she observes and tells insightful stories--both nonfiction and fiction--that characterize our emotional experience with life.

Teresa is the author of Twelve Stones to Remember Him: Building Memorials of Faith from Financial Crisis, a nonfiction book about twelve families who crossed the Great Recession with faith, released in January 2014 by Walnut Springs Press. Her writing specialties include nonfiction books, women's fiction, biography and interviews, blogging, news releases, and LDS people and topics. She plans to publish her first novel in 2014.

Teresa is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lives in Minnesota with her husband and teenage children. She enjoys cooking, sentimental movies, Sunday afternoon walks, and great conversations. 

No comments:

Post a Comment