Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review: The Flower Brides by Grace Livingston Hill

Reading some books is like running a one hundred yard dash, while others are like a marathon.  Flower Brides by Grace Livingston Hill is definitely a marathon book.  I started out at a pretty good pace, slowed down in the middle, took a little break and finished strong!  I love books by this author, and I am obviously not alone.  She wrote most of her books in the middle of the last century, yet they continue to be reprinted and reread over fifty years past her death.  In a world full of flash-in-the-pan authors, this is quite an accomplishment.  She was one of the first authors to write good, clean, Christian romances that still strike a note for readers today.  Her books always contain a heroine who is a lady, and a hero who is a gentleman.  Her female lead characters are always strong, independent women, but they always need a hero to sweep in and rescue them in the end!  My favorite part of every Livingston Hill book is the villain.  All of her novels that I have read have an antagonist that I love to hate.  It’s usually a jealous, petty woman, who is trying to destroy the beautiful, unknowing heroine.  It’s perhaps a bit simplistic, but I think it’s what makes her books interesting.

The thing that makes every Grace Livingston Hill book stand out above all others is the spiritual aspect.  Her characters are not Christians in name only, but they truly live their faith.  The salvation plan is presented clearly in every novel, and at least one person gets saved.  I love that Ms. Livingston Hill uses the term, “saved” since it is largely missing from today’s Christian fiction.

This book is actually three books in one, and I don’t consider them to be novellas.  Each one is a full-length book, hence the reason this book took me so long to read.  I enjoyed them in this form, but think I’d prefer to read them all individually.  I’ll give a brief summary of each book.


Marigold is a young woman who lives in Philadelphia with her mother.  She is going around with a rich, young man, and has just been invited to a party at his house given by his mother.  She spends a large amount of money on a dress for the party, but then realizes that such extravagance is not part of her principles.  She returns the dress, and takes a trip to Washington, DC with her mother.  She meets another young man there, who teaches her some important spiritual lessons.  She hopes he can give her the courage to return home and do what she needs to do. 

Mystery Flowers

Diana is devastated when her father phones home one evening to inform her that he is getting remarried to a much younger woman.  The woman, Helen, has never been a friend to Diana.  She knows that Helen will only make her life hard, and destroy her relationship with her father.  So she makes a plan to disappear.  Her one regret is that she hasn’t discovered who has been leaving the beautiful carnations for her to find each evening.  Diana has many hard times to face, but a prayer that she overhears while leaving the house follows her along the way and helps her find strength to carry on.

White Orchids

Camille is racing to get some medicine for her sick mother when she is involved in a car accident.  Jeffrey is there to save her, and help her retrieve the medicine.  He becomes someone special to her, but Camille realizes that while she cares for Jeff very much, he isn’t a Christian, so she cannot be involved with him.  A simple phrase from Camille sends Jeffrey on a search for salvation.  But there is a trickster in the midst, who is determined to have Jeffery for herself.  Camille and Jeff must trust that if God wants them together, He must work it out in His own time.

These are all great novels, and I highly recommend them to lovers of Christian fiction.  They may seem trite and simplistic at times, but I believe that their messages and themes are timeless, and worth the time they take to read.


 Happy Reading,

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