Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Flower Boy

Book Review
The Flower Boy - Karen Roberts

Summary (via Goodreads)The Buckwater family live side-by-side with their Ceylonese staff in a house nestled in the lush hillside tea estates of '30s Ceylon. Premawathi is their cook and housekeeper. She has two beautiful daughters and a son, Chandi, who even at four-years-old is bright, inventive and more mischievous than his young harried mother can sometimes cope with. 

As the novel opens Elsie Buckwater, an embittered woman, is giving birth to her third baby. Chandi is enchanted by the idea of making an English friend and he christens her Rose-Lizzie after the flowers he loves. But the discontented Elsie imposes a stifling and unhappy atmosphere on the household and forbids Chandi to go near her baby daughter, whom she herself largely ignores. Eventually however she packs her bags and returns to England. Without her, life at the bungalow flourishes. 

Iris from the Kandy Botanical Garden in Sri Lanka
Review (4/5 stars):  This is a beautiful book that's about so many things. It's about strangers in a strange land, family, choices, relationships, and expectations, but mostly, it's about life.

You will fall in love with the characters, even the ones who you want to shake some sense into, as they each meander in their own clumsy way through 1930's and 40's Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka).

I loved how the characters developed and changed as time marched on. I hope I'm not giving too much away to say that I wasn't overly satisfied with the ending though. I wanted different things to happen and for life long dreams to be fulfilled. Instead I was heartbroken and felt like the last words on the last page came far too abruptly and that heartbreak was the only reason I didn't give it a full 5 out of 5.

That being said, I think it's the sign of a good book to make you feel this way. It's the goal of every writer to make the reader become so invested in all of the characters and the storyline that they become passionate about it all and never want it to end.  

Sri Lanka - Tea Plantation
If you saw my post yesterday, you'll know that this book impacted me so much that I actually traveled to the other side of the planet to see the amazing place that this book was set in.  If that's not impactful, I don't know what is.

Have you ever been so inspired by a book that it changed your life or inspired you to travel?  Leave a comment below~

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