Galla's Reviews > Flowers from the Storm

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
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's review
Jan 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-romance
Read in January, 2012


This novel is about an unrepentant rake who has a severe stroke resulting in aphasia. When his family, who interpret his confusion, anger, and linguistic difficulties as a descent into madness, send him to a lunatic asylum, his only hope for recovery might lie with a Quaker woman who refuses to believe he's beyond hope.

A set-up like that could have gone horribly wrong, but it didn't. Kinsale's characterizations are superb, in part because she doesn't shy away from representing the emotional and the practical consequences of Christian's brain trauma--not to mention the consequences resulting from his burgeoning relationship with Maddy, whose moral, religious, and financial background has nothing in common with the Duke's.

This isn't a light Regency romance, though it has its humorous moments. This is high-stakes plotting, in which success requires a whole lot of social and financial maneuvering and failure means returning to an asylum. And throughout, it's easy to see why Christian's initial dependence on Maddy--his conviction that he can't live without her--blooms into a partnership based on respect and rapport, attachment and attraction. Eventually, he can live without her, but he doesn't want to.

This is not to say that the pair don't face their own sets of interpersonal obstacles; they do. And in this area, I think some reviewers are rather hard on Maddy. (view spoiler)

Not a story I'll soon forget, and future rereads are likely.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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The Holy Terror Ooh, did you see a bunch of us are reading this next month?

Galla I did! I just jumped the gun a bit, because this one called my name from my TBR list. I'll look forward to the discussion!

message 3: by The Holy Terror (last edited Jan 08, 2012 12:58PM) (new) - added it

The Holy Terror Ok, cool.

I ordered a copy from PBS, and I have a feeling this one is going to take me longer than a month to read.

I'll stalk your updates though, ^_^

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Wicked Incognito Now Oh, I didn't notice you read this. I'm glad you liked it!!!

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Oooh you finished it, and you liked it! And rereads are likely, even. Yaysyays!

Galla I did! Read another of Kinsale's books after this one, and liked that too, though not as much. She brings a remarkable level of depth to her writing; I almost never read romance novels that feel so... meaty.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

She's very up and down, but when she hits her stride she's terrific. Yeah, meaty, that's a great word for her. Judith Ivory is a lot like that, too, but her writing can tend towards the really esoteric and slightly numbing.

Wicked Incognito Now Moss wrote: "Judith Ivory is a lot like that, too, but her writing can tend towards the really esoteric and slightly numbing. "

Excellent description. Yes, that.

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