Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick

Where Lilacs Still Bloom: A Novel was delightful.  Perhaps it seems strange to say that because it is the story of Hulda Klager’s life and her life seemed to have a never ending supply of tragedy.  Only one of her children outlived her and she had to start over again and again and again.  She was a German immigrant who developed new varieties of apples and flowers, specifically lilacs.  I particularly appreciated that this story was not really a romance.  Her relationship with her husband Frank was central to the story but this book is about a woman dealing with life and deciding to pursue her dream.

I have never read anything by Kirkpatrick before and I really appreciated it.  As I read it I really wanted to be gardening and working with flowers.  I appreciated this novel and it is fun to know that while it is historical fiction the story of Hulda Klager developing lilacs is true.  I want a lilac now.

Reading about this woman who faced so much guilt about her time in her garden was somewhat saddening at times.  This isn’t really a feel good novel.  It is amazing to read about her devotion and determination.  I particularly enjoyed that each time Hulda faced pain: the death of someone she loved in particular her initial response was to back away from the garden but she always ended up running to back to it.  The way she used it to bless and comfort everyone around her also struck me.  From growing flowers for her daughters’ weddings to cutting a vase of flowers on the way to comfort a grieving family member or friend she believed that beauty brought a measure of healing and comfort.

I am ready for my little seeds to sprout and grow and bloom so that I can cut flowers and put them in vases and share them.  When I say that Kirkpatrick’s book really made me want to garden, I mean it!  If you are interested in a story about a woman’s life devoted to spreading beauty and clinging to her dreams this is definitely a story for you.  It isn’t a romance or a cheery light book but it is the story of a resilient woman’s belief in beauty and comfort.  I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

~ by shostagirl on May 14, 2012.

5 Responses to “Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick”

  1. Was it advertised as a romance? I actually couldn’t remember WHY this lady’s name sounded familiar. I then looked her up and realized she wrong “A Land of Sheltered Promise,” which I didn’t particularly care for. This one sounds a lot more promising (heh)

    • It wasn’t particularly advertised as a romance but the cover looked like it would be to me. I enjoyed it. It was about flowers and dreams and overcoming. I even looked up stuff about the real Hulda. Her lilacs are beautiful and now I want one.

  2. […] Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatric  Read my review. […]

  3. […] Where Lilacs Still Bloom […]

  4. […] did not include the four review copies I have already posted about: Wildflowers from Winter, Where Lilacs Still Bloom, Stress Point and A Touch of America.  The titles are linked to my reviews of them. Share […]

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