By:  Lynne Branard

Published:  June 3, 2014

Publisher: Berkley Trade – Penguin Group


I can usually tell pretty early on if I am going to love a book or not and this one I knew by the first few chapters that it was a story I was going to enjoy.

Ruby Jewell is the owner of a flower shop and has sold thousands of bouquets to residents of her small town over the years.  She has chosen the bouquets, using just the right flowers to convey the perfect message or elicit the right remedy.  For example, white flowers to promote a healing spirit, marigolds to increase positive energies, and roses as the gentle healing herb of love.

The story of the flowers and their healing properties reminded me of THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  I found this part of the story so interesting and took several notes about which flowers were best for certain ailments and personal feelings/situations.  Ruby made flowers her own personal ministry in their community and the residents were forever changed by her talents.

Ruby hasn’t been without hardship, including a difficult childhood and the death of her sister, Daisy. But she has found a way to bring love to others even if she can’t seem to find a way to love anyone but her faithful dog, Clementine.  Her flowers have healed the sick, found love between two unsuspecting people, and brought smiles to many faces.  What Ruby needs to realize is that she also deserves those same smiles and feelings of love.

As we move through the story, several people come into Ruby’s life including an astronaut, a veterinarian, and a 10 year old boy.  Will one of these people be able to break Ruby’s hard outer shell?  Nora, her long-time employee and friend, will try to get Ruby to see the love she deserves at the same time that Nora seems to be avoiding it herself.  Many of the characters just need someone to love them and finding that right person is part of the joy of this novel.

I love when a quote from a book makes me stop and consider the meaning. This book had several such quotes.

“The blooming happens on the outside before it happens in the middle. 
Sometimes we think there is supposed to be this great spiritual awakening that happens before we make a change in our lives. We expect some ‘aha’ moment, some beautiful enlightening experience to shape us into the people we want to be, but sometimes it just happens from the circumstances in our lives that present themselves. 
We become who we are meant to be because of the things along our edges that pull us into existence.”  Page 231-232
“I wonder how we are ever able to fit all the sorrow and loss into one heart, one lifetime.” Page 235

THE ART OF ARRANGING FLOWERS is a beautiful story of friendship, devotion, and personal growth.  Each character in the story has a hardship to overcome.  Some do it easily and others, like Ruby need more than a gentle push to see what is right in front of them. You may find the story predictable, but the joy is in the characters and their journey.  This isn’t a book full of drama with an exciting plot, but one full of real characters that you will grow to care about and root for. You will be left with a smile on your face and happiness in your heart. When the book is done, I bet you will want to go order a bouquet of flowers and wish that Ruby was creating it for you.

Lynne Branard

Lynne Branard is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling author Lynne Hinton. She has written more than a dozen books, including Friendship CakePie Town, and Welcome Back to Pie Town.  For more on Lynne, visit

If you would like to purchase THE ART OF ARRANGING FLOWERS, click the photo below:

Thanks to Random House First to Read for sending me a copy of this book for review.  This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase the book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you paying a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting reviews.

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