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The Florist's Daughter
by Patricia Hampl
Harcourt, Inc.
ISBN 0-15-101257-2
Published October 2007- Hardcover - 227 pages - $24.00

What a delightful read.  Not having read Ms. Hampl before, after reading this book, I felt as though I know her.  She manages to capture memories and nuances that made my own mind flash back to nanoseconds of my childhood, about which I could not recall in such detail.  I find it remarkable that we all (most of us) share a life on this earth as we're all born of male and female, go to school, grow up, start our own family (or not), etc.  The difference is that most of us don't see (or ignore) subtleties around us, while others are not only aware of them, but remember them and are able to describe them in such stirring writing.  Ms. Hampl starts this book by her mother's deathbed, recalling things.  Poignant things.  Some not.  She tells of her mother's observations and sayings, about her father's florist shop and his customers, and of herself as a girl (and as an adult) in the middle of this.  Her mother appears to have been a critical and watchful-of-others type of person, clearly not living the life she'd liked to have lived, or at the station in life she thought she should have been, but was nevertheless happy with her lot.  Somewhat reminiscent of my own mother in many ways.  Ms. Hampl's mother was of Irish stock and her father of Czech, and they lived in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She talks lovingly about her father's dedication to his flowers and his customers and how he just got on with being a florist instead of other professions he might have chosen had things been different for him.  She describes how living where they did shaped her life, about the area itself, and of course, the people.
Visit Patricia Hampl's website.
Conclusion - Beautifully written and she paints an interesting picture.  In a nutshell, this lady really has a way with words.

book cover

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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