Title: As Love Blooms
Author: Lorna Seilstad
Publishing House/Publication Date: Revell/June, 2015
Genres: Christian Fiction; Historical Romance
Time Period: 1913 (late Progressive Era)
Number of Pages: 320
Series: Book #3 in ‘The Gregory Sisters’ series
You should read this book if… You are looking for a sweet, colorful and quick summertime story filled with quirky but lovable characters, and a compelling plot. Garden-lovers will delight in references to the stunning gardens and horticulture practices of the early 1900s, and this book is a must-read if you enjoyed the two previous titles in ‘The Gregory Sisters’ series, When Love Calls and While Love Stirs.
Tone and Mood: The voice of this story is Ms. Seilstad’s signature blend of wit and spunk mixed with sweet and tender moments. While not exactly a deeply thought-provoking story, the lighthearted fun is interspersed with moments of reflection about God and relationship with him, and various elements of danger add to the excitement of the novel.
Characters and Point of View: Tenacious Tessa Gregory, the third and youngest Gregory sister, tells her story through third-person point of view. Additionally, her story is complemented by Reese King’s perspective, also told in third-person. Recurring characters from earlier in the series make numerous appearances, and are enjoyable to catch up with. From the protagonist to the supporting cast, each character in this story is colourful and vibrant.
Storyline: Tessa Gregory has a passion for gardening. Of course over the years she has also had a passion for acting, crime solving, and numerous other exciting endeavours. As her sisters point out, what if gardening is just another whim? But Tessa is determined to prove that she is a responsible adult now, beginning with securing a job at the city park – she just has to get past the park superintendent who refuses to hire a woman horticulturist. When gardener Reese King agrees to a plan to secretly reveal her talent, Tessa is over the moon… Until the plan begins to unravel, and people with dangerous agendas come into play, when she realizes she may be in way over her head.
Themes and Morals: Tessa’s struggles with maintaining faith, and turning to God during the difficult circumstances of life are sure to resonate with readers on various levels. Additionally, Tessa learns to trust the people she loves to help and support her, without trying to do everything on her own. The ties of sisterhood, following your dreams and supporting the dreams of others, and the impossibility of living up to another person’s expectations are a few more admirable sub-themes also woven into the novel.
Inappropriate Content: Apart from the occasional, mildly inappropriate comment or thought, the content of this book is quite innocent.
Conclusion: As Love Blooms is a delightful conclusion to an enjoyable series. One of the interesting and unique aspects is the beautifully realistic descriptions of flowers and gardening, and the historic views of horticulture. As per Lorna Seilstad’s writing style, Tessa’s story can be a little over-the-top at times, and silliness often overpowers seriousness. However, if you are searching for a fun form of entertainment to pass a summer afternoon with, look no further than the adventures of Tessa Gregory in As Love Blooms!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.