I was wary from the book from the start. Not because of the cover art or anything but because I'd finished reading another one of Jane Kirkpatrick's novels not too long ago and it put me in a depressed funk for days. Thankfully, I can say my wariness was short lived because this novel was much more upbeat and fun to read.
The novel is loosely based on the Life of Hulda Klager, a German immigrant who raised lilacs and a family in Washington. Tending a garden started out as a hobby for Hulda but as she started cross breeding and hybridizing to make larger crisper apples she realized that she could apply that technique onto her flowers to create new beautiful specimens. Her ultimate goal was to breed a 12 petaled creamy white lilac, an achievement that would take decades of patience. Each chapter follows a character's train of thought, although Hulda's chapters are the bulk of the book. This style works well to voice how other's viewed Hulda's works and achievements and how they admired her. The book starts off in the late nineteenth century and continues all the way up to 1950. Hulda lived to be one old lady! She never had a degree in horticulture, but experts noted her worthy creations and soon began to seek her advice. A small passion turned into a national sensation.
Overall, even though I don't know a thing about flowers I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Getting to share in Hulda's joy as she creates new flower specimens, sees her daughters get married, and hears from famous horticulturists across the country is a wonderful experience. However, Hulda doesn't have a perfect life and it is important to share in trials as well as tribulations in this smashing read, "Where Lilacs Still Bloom."
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."