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Spring Flowering

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Everything changes for Ann Gray when her father dies and her closest friend Jane marries and moves away. Ann must give up the independence and purpose she found as mistress of her father's parsonage in the country, and move to her uncle and aunt's new-style house in the growing city of Birmingham. The friendship of Ann's cousins - especially the mathematically inclined Lou ...more
ebook, 214 pages
Published November 1st 2017 by Manifold Press
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  27 reviews


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K.J. Charles
Nov 03, 2017 added it
Shelves: regency, f-f
A f/f historical at a non-eyewatering price is still a rare and precious thing, plus I heard the author speak at a conference and she was amazing, so I was on this like a rat up a drainpipe.

The historical grounding is amazing. This is the most vivid, immersive daily life depiction, and of relatively normal middle class people too. I was fascinated by the manufactories in particular, and the way women's position in work was changing, but all the details of life and work were gloriously real. Wha
...more
Sprinkles
Well, this is certainly different than what I've been reading lately. Still pretty, still gay (of course), but I was transported to a world of bonnets and corsets and paragraphs picturesque landscaping. And it was a welcome change! You will learn a lot about the various settings and if the plot and action keeps a hold of you, it won't be dreary.

Ann is interesting and honestly someone I could picture as a lead in the lastest Netflix originals. To see her romance blossom is a thing of
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Dee
2.5 stars

This story is told in third person and completely from Ann’s point of view. As per the blurb, which is extremely telling, everything changes for Ann when her father dies. She moves in with her Aunt and Uncle, and whereas the noise and a busy household are unsettling, Ann’s biggest hurdle to overcome is how to fill her day. With not much more to do than mend clothes and iron, like Ann, I found myself incredibly bored.

The pacing of this story was extremely slow. Th
...more
Corrie
Spring Flowering by Farah Mendlesohn.

Wow, ok… so it was really in the last 20% of the book when we started to get to the meat of the story. Before that it was as someone aptly described “this-is-a-story-of-what-Ann-did-next”. After what you may ask?

Well for that we better start at the beginning.

Ann Gray is the bookish daughter of parson William Gray and we enter the story as Ann is sitting at her father’s death-bed reminiscing about the people she lost in her life - her brother John died at Wate/>Ann
...more
Bee (Heart Full of Books)
I'm looking into queer regency romances for one of my essays, if you have any recommendations, please share them!
Wollstonecrafthomegirl
**Spoilers below**

This gets some points for sheer originality. There don’t seem to be that many f/fs on the market, let alone historicals. Plus, this is set in Birmingham, where I worked and lived for several years, and it was rather a delight to read descriptions of familiar streets layered with the history of the time at which they were built. The author is an historian of Brum and you can really tell. It’s a great, but unusual setting for an historical and makes for a great middle class, in
...more
Heather Jones
Spring Flowering by Farah Mendlesohn is a gentle, domestic Regency romance, more in the vein of Jane Austen with its parson’s daughters and the family dynamics of middle class families “in trade”, than in the vein of Georgette Heyer’s dashing aristocrats and gothic perils. Ann Gray’s life is disrupted by the death of her father, the village parson, and she joins the bustling household of her cousins in Birmingham where the family business manufacturing buttons, jewelry, and other small metal acc ...more
Nick Imrie
This story was extraordinarily dull, but not at all boring.

I don't believe there was a single joke in the whole book. Hardly any conflict at all. Just serious, sober, religious, hard-working, kind-hearted people going about their business.

I realise I'm not really selling it, but I did enjoy it. It's clearly very historically accurate. Some of this is a bit superfluous, like the meticulous updates on Birmingham building works. The rest of the history is seamlessly integrat
...more
Suzi
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I dove into this book and devoured it quickly, enjoying its protagonist and her forthright ability to forge her way through a life that, at least up to the point where the novel begins, has been filled with grief. If you like Jane Austen, Sarah Waters, and/or Courtney Milan's historicals, you should definitely acquire and read this book.

Spring Flowering is a lovely parson's daughter-after-parson-dies tale of both sex and love in a factory boomtown. The historical detail is strong; Mendlesohn certainly k
...more
Kate
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not really a romance novel, more of a coming-into-one's-own novel. Odd, in that the details are clearly meticulously researched, but the tone of the whole doesn't feel plausible. And quite dull, but in a plodding, comfortable way.

If you're looking for f/f Georgette Heyer - this ain't it.
Highlyeccentric
I loved this a lot - but I could have loved it more. I adored Our Heroine (those who recall my problems with Persuasion and wanting to hear about the older sister who managed the accounts will not be surprised), I loved the setting and the web of supporting characters and the way that Anne's prior passionate friendship remains part of the picture.

I just. Didn't really grok the main ship. Or I did, but I wanted it further developed. I love the way it was worked out: keep everything in the family
...more
Katherine Fabian
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Was this regency f/f romance written for me? It really could have been. Much more in the style of Austen than Heyer, and fascinating for it. There are words, phrases and lacunae in Austen (and similar books written at the time) that can to a modern reader imply sexual relationships between women -- by using them in this way here, the author creates space in the the original texts for that same interpretation, giving the gift not just of this beautiful gem of a book, but a whole backlog of newly ...more
Magali
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
ok so i have been DYING from the complete lack of f/f historical that isn’t depressing as fuck and this book does fit the bill. so of course i picked this up IMMEDIATELY when i saw it recommended on twitter by one of my favorite authors.

things that are great about this book: happy ending! lesbians just getting to live together in peace! fun family dynamics! so much research and time and love clearly went into writing this!

BUT the pacing really threw me off my groove, at times this r
...more
Ariel
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
All the Regency romances I've read and none of them were about how to live as a lesbian. Very well done and a bit spicy here and there!
Morgan Dhu
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Farah Mendlesohn is best known for her literary criticism, much of it in the areas of fantasy, science fiction, and children’s literature. To these scholarly credits she must now add the accolade of a writer of delightful queer historical romance.

Spring Flowering is the story of Ann Gray, a 27-year-old parson’s daughter who finds herself on the brink of a life of her own following the death of her father. Leaving the parsonage where she grew up for the new world of Birmingham, where her uncle o
...more
WhatAStrangeDuck
I have read way too many books by authors from the 19th century where the female protagonist (or their best friend or sister or whoever) ended up either dead, mad or married. I'm not saying that I didn't to some extent enjoy reading them but what I really wanted was for Lizzy and Charlotte from "Pride and Prejudice" to have their HEA.

Anyhow, this is a Regency romance without dashing aristocrats of either gender but rather well-heeled merchant families. There is a bit of social commentary going
...more
Cnut
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore historical fiction, but it's very hard to find historical lesbian fiction where one of the women doesn't end up dead. This hits all the right notes: a Regency story that's really immersive, as well as the sort of subtle romance you expect of the era (especially when gay relationships are involved). Some people apparently find the book too slow and plodding, but there's nothing I love more than loving descriptions of the era with weird archaic words I've never seen before and have to look ...more
Rhiannon Grant
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I found this a charming, light read. The focus is more on the central character than on a specific relationship. It wasn't clear to me until fairly well into the story where the relationships were going - as other reviewers have noted, this is odd for a romance, but highly effective for a story about Ann's journey of personal and sexual discovery. The latter worked for me because I quickly liked Ann. (That said, I would read a sequel from Louisa's point of view, because I could really like her t ...more
Viviane
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. The details were fun and I would have happily kept reading, or should I say I'd definitely read another story like it by the author? Both really.
I have learned a lot about Birmingham, sometimes I got lost in the various roads and sights to be honest, but I still enjoyed the meandering.
Yes, pace was slow, but it was exactly what I needed at the time and worked well for me to be honest.
There are some plot twists I wasn't sure about, but I still enjoyed it immens
...more
Ry Herman
A gently-paced romance with no real villains. I appreciated that the characters' thoughts and reactions were kept in what seemed to me to be an authentic context for the period, with little said outright and much understood. The historical detail got a little intrusive at times, but this was a minor problem with a generally pleasant and enjoyable book.
Lotta
This definitely didn't read as a romance to me, more like a book about finding yourself. The romantic relationship was not the central focus. I felt that the relationship or the characters weren't developed satisfactorily in the book, and that the book would have benefited greatly by a round of editing.
Andrea
This book reminded me of Austen's in terms of style. I like how the romantic false lead isn't a villain, just not the right person for Ann (and vice versa). I particularly love how supportive various characters are of Ann! I would love to read more about Ann and Louisa and Mrs. King at some point.
Jackie
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought for sure I had already written a review of this, but it seems to have disappeared?
K.B. Rainwater
DNF

Spent too much time on descriptions in the first couple of pages. Didn't give me any reason to be engaged.
Katherine Long
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, lgbtq
Stars: 4 Stars
Format: Digital
Steam Level: Steamy

TW: dog dies right in the first chapter

Why did I wait so long to get and read this? I loved it! It is a bit steamy but not super explicit.

Quick Thoughts:
- Really enjoyed all the characters, even the ones that annoyed me at first
- Unusual for me, I ended up liking all the love interests. Even the ones that didn’t work out. There was no “evil” one, just people with flaws that are trying to make connections that best suited them
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lauraღ
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved everything about this cute romance except the fact that the author used the phrase "the soft furry catness" to describe a snatch. I'm still laughing and boggling.

The romance didn't go the way I expected, and in a lot of ways it was more of a coming of age story. But I liked it very much. Maybe Ann's family's implicit acceptance isn't realistic or whatever, but I find that it's just what I needed at this moment in my life.

A cute read. 3.5 stars.
Mary Kay Kare
rated it liked it
Apr 27, 2018
Amy
rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2017
M
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Dec 14, 2017
Gemma
rated it really liked it
Nov 17, 2017
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Manifold Press: New release: "Spring Flowering" on 1 November 2017 1 2 Oct 01, 2017 12:15AM  

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Farah Mendlesohn is a Hugo Award-winning British academic and writer on science fiction. In 2005 she won the Hugo Award for Best Related Book for The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, which she edited with Edward James.

Mendlesohn is Professor of Literary History at Anglia Ruskin University, where she is also Head of English and Media. She writes on Science Fiction, Fantasy, Children's Li
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