I finished reading Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell a few weeks back and now it's time for a review! Set in England in the mid-1850's, Charlotte is the child of botanist parents and has been permitted to study botany and assist her widowed father in his profession. Suddenly, to Charlotte's surprise and dismay, her uncle suggests she stop assisting her father and officially join "proper society" and pursue marriage and a family. Charlotte has no interest in doing so, but her father insists, and even hires Edward Trimble as his new assistant. Desperate to regain her position at her father's right hand, Charlotte and a friend decide Charlotte should actively pursue matrimony in the hopes her father will miss her so much, he will ask her back immediately. Her plan goes awry, with many twists and turns (sometimes humorous and sometimes mortifying) along her journey.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was different from many of the Christian historical fiction books I read. There was romance, but it wasn't a formulaic love story. Charlotte is completely unaware of any social conventions of the day and has no knowledge of manners, proper dress, etc. Most of the time she is blissfully ignorant of her shortcomings in this area, which results in a variety of misunderstandings. I thought it was wonderful that in spite of her unawareness of societal rules, Charlotte still makes a genuine friend, Miss Templeton, who takes Charlotte under her wing and seems to care about her as a person. The book was obviously well-researched and included a lot of botanical information which would have been more common knowledge during that time frame. I did have some trouble following some of the botany terms and scenarios, but overall it didn't detract from a very good book.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.