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Love In Bloom    by Sheila Roberts order for
Love In Bloom
by Sheila Roberts
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Love In Bloom is a heartwarming story of women, friendships, and the bond between sisters. It is told with some humour even though it focuses on subjects that are close to every woman's heart.

Hope Walker lives in the Pacific Northwest town of Heart Lake. She owns and operates the flower shop in the downtown district. Hope has built a clientele on good customer service and adding that little extra touch to all her orders. Not only is she gifted with flower arranging, but she enjoys writing little poems and sayings with each order. Only thirty years old, Hope has given up on love. After battling breast cancer, she underwent reconstructive surgery, but the scars are upsetting to her. She has closed her heart, not wanting any man to see what she finds disfiguring. Her younger, beautiful sister Bobbi is dating gorgeous Jason Wells. Though Hope was first attracted to Jason, she would never overstep her boundaries and cause problems with her sister. To keep busy she has planted a garden at the community garden plot in town.

Amber Howell is a young married woman with a small son. She works at the local bakery in Heart Lake to help with the finances at home. Her husband Ty has lost his job and, instead of looking for employment, he sits in front of the TV all day. To help save money, Amber and her son Seth start a vegetable garden at the community plot. Soon her garden is growing and she is reaping the rewards, along with making a few new friends.

Millie Baldwin is seventy-seven years old. A widow, she decides to move to Heart Lake to help her divorced daughter Debra and her two grandchildren. Soon Millie feels she has made a mistake. Her daughter is immersed in her job and her teenage grandchildren don't really need her around. After reading about the community garden in town, Millie decides to reserve a plot and get back to what she loves to do, grow flowers and connect with nature.

All three women come to the garden for different reasons but soon they form a friendship that blooms quicker than their flowers. Millie brings years of wisdom and gently guides Amber over the rough spots in her marriage. Hope finds strength when she is encouraged to enjoy her life and look for love. Hope and Amber help Millie to feel wanted and connected and pursue things in life for her own happiness. Love In Bloom is a story of lost love, death, and learning to let go and trust others. A great read.

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