I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Light of Hidden Flowers by Jennifer Handford
Published by Lake Union Publishing on November 10, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Contemporary Women, Family Life
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Book-smart Melissa Fletcher lives a predictable life in her hometown, working behind the scenes for her charismatic father in a financial career that makes perfect sense. But when her dad is diagnosed with Alzheimer s, Missy is forced to step up and take over as his primary caregiver and the principal of the firm.
After her father s death, Missy finds a letter from him in which he praises her for being a dutiful daughter but admonishes her for not taking any risks in life.
Devastated, Missy packs her suitcase and heads for Italy. There she meets a new friend who proposes a radical idea. Soon, Missy finds herself in impoverished India, signing away her inheritance and betting on a risky plan while rekindling a lost love.
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The Light of Hidden Flowers continues my streak of good not great books. Melissa Fletcher is a mousy woman living in the shadow of her father, a man beloved in the community. Melissa works in her father’s financial firm and is happiest creating proposals, but not speaking to the clients. Melissa is content in her life but when forced to come out of her shell she manages to shine. The pacing and world building were spot on, but my main issue with The Light of Hidden Flowers is another woman who is content to be seen and not heard. I think a powerful and emotional book can be created out of a character who, while flawed, is still a strong person. This may stem from my personal life, where I am in a job that is extraordinarily male dominated so I force myself to be heard and seen. I, again, loved the second half of this book when the main character grew into her own and was able to be a complete person. The supporting cast was strong and helped carry the limping first half of the story. I did enjoy The Light of Hidden Flowers, I’m just still searching for that strong capable female lead.
Favorite lines – “We were not born whole; we were born new, and each life experience coated us with another layer. These layers protected us like armor, but they also covered us to the point where we no longer could feel. That was the balance: to open up to the experiences, to strategically place the layers, but to leave the heart open. The heart had to be sent into the front lines every day, naked, unarmed, willing to take fire. That was the only way to live. With risk. On the cusp of dying.”
Biggest cliche – “I can’t possibly do that, I’m just a girl.”
Have you read The Light of Hidden Flowers, or added it to your TBR?