The Florist's Daughter
My 93-year-old mother is frail. A few months ago I figured she would go any ...more
That’s what someone should have ...more
“These apparently ordinary people in our ordinary town, living faultlessly ordinary lives … why do I persist in thinking—knowing—they weren’t ordinary ...more
A memoir doesn't absolutely require a narrative arc, but I think that a reader might find the presence of one more rewarding, and this book really doesn't have it. Patricia's presence at her mother's bedside on the night of her death is the framing device for her recollections of growing ...more
This is a beautifully written, intricately structured memoir in honor of the writer's parents. She deciphers who her parents were and who she became because of them in episodes so poetic, I think she labored over every single word. Because of the title, I thought this would be more about her father, the florist, but there's equal time spent on her mother. ...more
"Only poetry and music, it seemed, could express the real things, which were the ...more
I just wish the subject matter had been different. I was immediately in love when I started it and got sucked in with the language and style of writing. But that only lasted through the description of the author's sharp edged mother and her mother's relationships with the people and places around her. When the father (the florist) was finally introduced, the climate shifted and it was hard going. Even though this is a memoir and the title includes "daughter", ...more
Hampl has a dreamy writing-style that seemed especially appropriate as she sat at her dying mother's bedside in the hospital.
Hampl spends these "dead of the night" hours remembering how she ended up there - the daughter of a Czech florist and a library archivist Irish mother.
She jumps from place to place in her history examining her relationship with her parents, as their primary caretaker. She never really left St. Paul, always felt bound to them somehow there - the middle ...more
"Nothing is harder to grasp than the relentlessly modest life," observes Patricia Hampl, the award-winning author of several memoirs. In The Florist's Daughter, she turns the focus from herself to her parents and their ordinary lives. Resisting the impulse to be sentimental, she "homes in on the unguarded moment, the pivot of contradiction, that reveals character" (Newsday) and brings Stan and Mary Hampl to vivid life in her lovely prose and breathtaking metaphors. Critics note that the title is...more
This is not so much a captivating book as a charming one. I was sorry when it was finished.
Basically, it was like a lady I didn't know suddenly started complaining to me about her life, but I had no way of connecting with her at all, and there wasn't any story to it. It was just a stranger complaining. I was bored.
I'll read it again.
Innocence lost is supposed to be experience gained, and therefore not a bad trade. "The fortunate fall" as Professor Youngblood taught us in Milton 3111. But what if innocence is never lost, never forfeited Then it can't rise to the edifying abstraction of 'experience.”