Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Flower for the Queen by Caroline Vermalle

England, 1770. Young gardener Francis Masson i aked by the King to search for a rare orange blossom in South Africa. As his ship departs, Masson has no idea that he's about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. During his hunt for the mysterious flower, he doesn't anticipate the untamed nature of the African continent, nor the subtle scheming of competing plant hunters. As he makes the acquaintance of eccentric botanist Carl Thunberg and his elegant accompaniment, Masson's fate once again takes an unexpected turn. 

A lively adventure novel set against the vibrant backdrop of the South African countryside.

Opening Sentences:  

"If I write one more obituary, I swearit will be the death of me," said Jack Grant, the corners of his young, purple-lipped mouth turned downwards in a petulant frown. 
   The travelling coach and its team of horses rumbled and snorted in reply to the coachman's whip, ripping a tear through the bleached silence of a November morning on the road from Montreal to Pointe-Claire. 

Review by Mirella Patzer:

A Flower for the Queen is a lively adventure story about a young botanist who, through unusual circumstances, finds himself embarking on a voyage of discovery with Captain Cook. His job is to find a particular rare flower in Africa on behalf of the King and Queen. The story immediately drew me in with its fascinatingly real characters and unusual, intriguing plot. It is filled with twist after twist as the story weaves from one adventure to another. 

The story is told through the eyes of an old man - it is is his own story and adventure of when he was young. He describes hazards and danger, the wilds of Africa, the famous personages who arranged for his voyage, and Captain Cook himself. 

This was a very enjoyable story that kept my interest from start to finish. Multi-layered and very entertaining indeed.

Amazon US
Amazon Canada

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