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The Flower Shop  By  cover art

The Flower Shop

By: Petra Durst-Benning, Edwin Miles - translator
Narrated by: Kristin Watson Heintz
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Publisher's summary

Bestselling author Petra Durst-Benning’s Seed Traders’ Saga continues, as a young woman in nineteenth-century Baden-Baden risks everything to pursue her dream of becoming a florist.

Twenty-year-old Flora Kerner has arrived in Baden-Baden, the “Summer Capital of Europe.” Having spurned the family seed trade, Flora has instead chosen to accept a floristry apprenticeship in the famed German spa town. She is a quick study in the art of flower arranging, but progress is slower in matters of the heart.

As her magnificent displays and keen eye soon reverse the fortunes of her mentor’s shop, she attracts the notice of princesses and other royal clientele. Flora’s found her passion—or at least she hopes she has. But as her new life begins to blossom, does she dare risk everything to discover where her true heart lies?

©2018 Petra Durst-Benning and Ullstein Buchverlage GmbH. Translation © 2018 by Edwin Miles. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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The ABCs of Flowers . . . and Life

First off, this isn’t The Seed Woman, so go into it knowing that. Yet it’s good, very good. The history of the Trinkhalle in Baden Baden was fascinating. I had no idea that the Grand Duchy of Baden was an independent state in what is now southwestern Germany until 1871, or that the healing spa waters of Baden Baden drew tourists from around the world. The story of Flora Kerner, the daughter of The Seed Woman, traveling to Baden Baden to be an apprentice at the Flower Shop when she is twenty years old, starts out well. Her dream is to arrange flowers, to work in a flower shop, not to be a seed trader, like her parents. And it seems that her dream has come true. At first, she works hard, learning from her mentor, and overcoming every difficult challenge with innovativeness and persistency. She attracts the attention and affection of the son of her mentor, as well as the love of his family. The young Flora, naïve and pure, isn’t prepared for what lies ahead. She certainly doesn’t treasure what life has given her. She allows her dreams of growing her flower business to consume her. (But who among us haven’t gotten off track?) And in her defense, she was the one supporting her family. Her husband, working a the Trinkhalle, was just as consumed, and not bringing home the bacon. A recipe for disaster. I appreciated how her mother-in-law and father-in-law loved and defended Flora (a rarity). I inwardly cringed and moaned at the choices she made. And I cried like a baby with her husband. The conclusion of the story, in my opinion, is the best part. A wise author it is that can take all parts of people’s lives, pour them into a mixing bowl, and have enough sense to end up with something useful. After all, this my friends, is what happens to us all, a mess of stuff to deal with in this imperfect life, and its up to us to put it in perspective and chose GOOD, and not evil.

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