The Flourishing of Floralie Laurel by Fiadhnait Moser

The flourishing of Floralie Laurel

Moser has written a beautiful book about a young girl’s coming of age in England and France.  Floralie is 11 years old and living with her older brother in England. They are supported by their paternal grandmother who owns a private orphanage where she insures that children behave properly.  In addition to the financial support provided them they own a flower shop. Floralie sells flowers out of a basket everyday to help out. Unfortunately Floralie’s Mother has disappeared, her father died and she feels quite alone until she meets Nino, an escaped orphan, who quickly becomes her best friend.  Together Floralie and Nino go in search of Floralie’s missing Mother. In the course of their travels they discover a connection between Floralie and Claude Monet’s home and gardens.

Filled with flowers, gardens, poetry and prose, this book paints a lovely picture and at the same time deals with some big issues.  Mental illness, abuse, neglect, shame, alcoholism and more are all part of the story. It is not a happy story and yet Floralie finds the way to not only survive such tragedies but to flourish as well.  Great job by Moser for touching on these difficult subjects and making it real.

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