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In Bloom based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
When I first started reading In Bloom, I got the impression that it was going to be a sentimental kind of story. I felt bad for Kindra and began to brace myself for an emotional read. However, little did I know it was going to turn witty and hilarious in no time. The dynamic between all the characters sort of reminded me of the movie As Good as it Gets and it certainly had me laughing out loud. Tommy and his mother were hysterical and the friendship between Kindra and Tiana was so much fun too. This book as well as the characters will grow on you, and by the end you will be completely submerged in their world. All joking aside, the story was also endearing and powerful. I can't think of a single thing I didn't like about it. In Bloom was different and unique, and that makes it stand out. It was definitely a memorable read. *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
A woman who has spent her life emotionally cut off from those around her makes an unexpected friend and begins to venture out of her shell. Kindra is in charge of a library in a small Massachusetts town. She lives a small, self-contained life with few friends and no real interests outside of her work. Even her apartment is small and shoddy. Kindra has no illusions about her situation, but she's unable to rouse herself enough to do anything about it. Raised by her angry, widowed father, she's trapped by memories of her childhood and the early death of her younger sister. Kindra feels responsible for Muriel's drug overdose, which happened a few years after Kindra convinced her to have an abortion. Two unrelated events change everything for Kindra. A woman approaches her at the library and convinces her to come to dinner. Rosemary Shannon has a wheelchair-bound son about Kindra's age. He needs a social life. Tommy Shannon is a bitter, foul-mouthed ex-skier. He's not interested in socializing with anyone other that the women on his porn websites. Needless to say, the dinner doesn't go exactly as planned. Around the same time, a new neighbor moves into the apartment below Kindra. Tiana is a self-described dyke who pretty much forces her friendship on Kindra. Through these new relationships, Kindra is dragged out into the world and begins to deal with her traumatic past. IN BLOOM is a funny, funny book. Rosemary Shannon's fake Irish brogue and foul mouth had me rolling. All of the characters are engaging and full of life. Even Kindra, when she lets herself go, has a wry, amusing way of looking at the world. Of course, the humor balances the book's darker themes. Each of the three main characters is hobbled in some way. Kindra by her past. Tommy by his accident. Tiana by her sexuality. Thrown together, they test and needle one another, forcing each other into...bloom. The only issue I had with IN BLOOM was the pacing of the romance between Kindra and Tommy. There's so much chemistry at their initial meeting...crazy, unusual chemistry, sure...but it's there. But then the author suspends contact between the two characters for almost the entire book, as each deals with the personal changes ignited by their meeting. I get what the author was trying to do--Kindra and Tommy are dealing with big transformations--but the long separation makes their manner of coming back together seem a little abrupt and forced. Even with the narrative bumps, though, IN BLOOM is a warm, funny book about sad people who decide to take a chance on life and love.