One thing I love about being part of different publishers book review programs is the potential of reading books I would normally not pick up or choose to read. Where Lilacs Still Bloom is one of those titles. Yes, when reading the synopsis of this book the story did sound interesting, but if I was actually in a store browsing the selection there, I probably would have passed this one by. Good thing for Blogging for Books! They had this book on their list of books to choose from and I decided to give it a try.
Where Lilacs Still Bloom is about a German immigrant named Hulda Klager. She’s a farmer’s wife, a mother, and she has a passion for plants. More than just growing plants, her passion includes hybridizing them too, and that is just not something women do…mostly if the year is 1889. Luckily for Hulda her husband is a supporter of her so-called hobby.
From creating a bigger and more crisper apple, to the hybridization of several flowers, Hulda’s story is one of dedication, patience, and striving to give to others what God had placed on her heart – a passion to help people experience the beauty of flowers.
“Beauty matters…it does. God gave us flowers for a reason. Flowers remind us to put away fear, to stop our rushing and running and worrying about this and that, and for a moment, have a piece of paradise right here on earth.”
What a wonderful and encouraging story. Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a historical fiction novel, but Hulda actually existed, as did her passion for seeing brighter, more fragrant flowers. I don’t know what percentage of the story is true and what amount is from the author, but I do know that Jane Kirkpatrick did a fine job of expressing Hulda’s passion and determination of seeing her dream of a better flower come to fruition.
Although the story centers around Hulda’s flowers, I was happy to find another story intertwined within this one; the story of family. This side story added depth to Hulda and it created a balance to the passion she had. While reading about the Klagers, I was touched by different emotions as they battled life’s ups and downs. All the while I was rooting Hulda on, hoping and waiting for that wonderful day when her dream would be realized.
After reading Where Lilacs Still Bloom I found myself longing to see Hulda’s garden in Woodland, Washington. I was even encouraged to stroll through the gardens here in my own hometown. Then I had the great idea of planting a few flowers of my own…(which I’ve still yet to do!) Ultimately what this book brought to me was what Hulda wanted to share with me and others – the beauty of flowers! To take the time to enjoy them, to slow down (because life can get SO very busy), and to breathe in their scent while taking in their beauty.
I would recommend this book to any reader who loves historical fiction, or for those who love to be encouraged while reading. Of course if you like flowers then you’ll enjoy Hulda’s story. Since there’s a “Reader’s Guide” included in the back of the book, this would also make a fun book club selection. Even for the traveler, read the book first then go on at trip to see the garden! Whoever you are, you are sure to get something out of Where Lilacs Still Bloom!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”