Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review: Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard

Title: Art of Arranging Flowers
Author: Lynne Branard/Lynne Hinton (Author Website) (Facebook)
Narrators: Xe Sanders
Publisher:  Dreamscape Audio
Length:  7 Discs/ 8 hours: 3 Minutes
Source: Audiobook Jukebox‘s reviewer program
About the Book: (from
Ruby Jewell knows flowers. In her twenty years as a florist she has stood behind the counter at the Flower Shoppe with her faithful dog, Clementine, resting at her feet. A customer can walk in, and with just a glance or a few words, Ruby can throw together the perfect arrangement for any occasion.

Whether intended to rekindle a romance, mark a celebration, offer sympathy, or heal a broken heart, her expressive floral designs mark the moments and milestones in the lives of her neighbors. It’s as though she knows just what they want to say, just what they need.

Yet Ruby’s own heart’s desires have gone ignored since the death of her beloved sister. It will take an invitation from a man who’s flown to the moon, the arrival of a unique little boy, and concern from a charming veterinarian to reawaken her wounded spirit. Any life can be derailed, but the healing power of community can put it right again.

About the Author:  (from author website)
Lynne Hinton was born and raised in North Carolina. She attended Wake Forest University and is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro. She also attended NC School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking and graduated with her Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and has served as a hospice chaplain and as a senior pastor in Guilford County and Asheboro, North Carolina and in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and as the interim pastor in northeastern Washington.
Lynne is the author of eighteen books, including the NY Times Bestseller, Friendship Cake and Pie Town, the 2011 NM Book of the Year: Fiction/Adventure, Drama Category and 2011 National Federation of Press Women's Fiction Book of the Year. Her 2014 book, written under the name Lynne Branard, The Art of Arranging Flowers, was also the winner of the NM-Arizona Book Awards Fiction/Adventure Category.
Lynne and her husband, Bob Branard, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
About the Narrator: Xe Sand has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration, performance and visual art, including recordings of Thrill of the Chase and Buttered Side Down.  From poignant young adult fiction to powerful first person narrative, Sands' characterizations are rich and expressive. Xe Sands does an amazing job in giving each character a distinct, individual voice in The Art of Arranging Flowers.

My Review: Ruby is 45 years old, never married.  Ruby was devastated by the death of her sister, Daisy. She fell into a great depression and was pulled out by the beauty of flowers, which lead her to become a florist in Creekside, Washington.  Ruby is not just any florist.  She knows everyone in Creekside, their birthdays and anniversaries.  She has their bouquets made before they even before they come in for them and gives a small reminder is needed.  She  is versed in the healing and medicinal aspects of various flowers. She knows just what to put in a bouquet to have people fall in love and comfort those in pain or with illness. 

The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard has a slow moving plot, which allows for extensive character development.  You just fall in love with the characters, even the dog Clementine has some depth.  My favorite characters are the young boy Will and Dan, the charming astronaut.  

My Rating: 4/5 – really liked it-  Initially after finishing this book, I thought, "well that was very predictable".  But as I thought more about The Art of Arranging Flowers, I realized the story wasn't about the ending.  It was about one person's long journey to overcome grief,  loss and to live again.  The story is the people that came into Ruby's life that helped her to move along a very difficult journey to healing.  It can be a difficult road from such grief to living life and finding happiness.

The Art of Arranging Flowers is a feel good story. It is a sentimental story of a quaint small town and unforgettable characters that touch your heart.  Topics woven throughout The Art of Arranging Flowers are grief, loss, and the power of friendship.

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing
The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard was also reviewed on the following blogs:  Feathered Quill Book Reviews, Rhapsody in Books Weblog, A Novel Review,  Book Pleasures,  Simply Stacie, and Musings of A Bookish Cat.   

**Disclosure – The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard was received from Audiobook Jukebox’s reviewer program and Dreamscape Audio in exchange for a fair review.

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