Like a Flower in Bloom

Like a Flower in Bloom

by Siri Mitchell


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He Stole the Work She Loved.
Will She Let Him Steal Her Heart as Well?

It's all her uncle's fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she's reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte's future--the only proper future for a woman--is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.

Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he'll soon change his mind...and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society--a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.

Things aren't perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She'll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she's most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764210372
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/06/2015
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 616,999
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Siri Mitchell has written nearly a dozen novels, three of which were named Christy Award finalists. A graduate of the University of Washington with a business degree, she has worked in many levels of government and lived on three continents. She and her family currently reside in the D.C. metro area. Learn more at

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Like a Flower in Bloom 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If the author wasn't so "besotted" with using florid words in her text, she might have been able to spend more time crafting a novel of substance. Instead, the bare bones of what could have been a good story are strung together through a slow moving plot and two dimensional characters. The copious amount of "flowery" words paired with such a straightforward writing style leave the text sounding pretentious and mismatched. I found the relationship between Charlotte and Mr. Timble to be forced and unrealistic due to the fact that the two has a three year correspondence that is alluded to, but rarely described in enough detail for the reader to understand. Only their fights are mentioned until the last quarter of the novel, but even then Charlotte seems lukewarm (at best) about her feelings towards him. If the author wants the reader to really feel for her characters then she can't keep the best parts of the story locked away from the reader in a past they never are allowed privy to understanding. While Ms. Mitchell makes a smattering of good points about God's will for our lives, she chooses to tell them through a truthfully rude and contrary character hiding under the mask of an introvert as an excuse for her unconventional behavior. I hope that those who do decide to to read this novel do not understand all introverts to be so resistant to mainstream society. Although this book had the essential elements of generating a good story it sadly missed the mark through unrealistic relationship development and never inviting the reader into the story.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This book seemed to start a little slow for me but it is so worth finishing. Charlotte and Edward are so great together. Charlotte knows so much about flowers and nothing about men or how to act in society. Charlotte has helped her father write about and catalog all the flowers that they collect and study since she was 14 and her mother died. She does not think about marriage until her uncle insists it is time for her to find a husband. She does not want to go into society but then Edward shows up and he takes over all of her duties with her father. How will this end? You will need to read to find out. It is funny and romantic and a fun book. I received this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest opinion.
SweetPeanutsMom More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this book. Charlotte, so smart yet so clueless, was a delight. I loved the way Siri has put this story together. As much as I like her writing I was not expecting this slight humours bent to the story and I was pleasantly surprised. Christian historical fiction with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
“Victorian-Era England comes alive in this witty romance!” What a perfect summation! Charlotte Withersby, with her unconventional ways and social naiveté, is a most entertaining character! I enjoyed the snappy dialogue and the sparks that flew between Charlotte and Edward Trimble. Although it is full of scientific information, the author moves this delightful story along with humor and wit. Engaging and well-researched, Like a Flower in Bloom had me smiling the whole way through! I look forward to reading more from this talented author! I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Bethany House Blogger Reviewer program. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
LizR1990 More than 1 year ago
For years Charlotte Withersby and her botanist father have lived a happily reclusive lifestyle immersed their research. All that changes, however, when Charlotte’s well-meaning uncle convinces her father that a woman Charlotte’s age should be running her own home and raising a family. Then the audacious Mr. Edward Tremble has the nerve to take up her job as assistant to her father and do a good job to boot! This was my first read by Siri Mitchell and while this was not my favorite book I enjoyed her writing style greatly and plan to read more of her books. This book had a large focus on botany and while science has always interested me it just felt like some of the terms and ideas were a little forced and out of place. Perhaps a small glossary would have help for a quick reference. I also had a hard time relating to Charlotte and Mr. Trimble. Charlotte seemed disinterested and Mr. Tremble was more like background noise. All that aside, I did enjoy most of the book and it kept me reading which is what I always ask of a story. I very much enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Miss Templeton. She always made me chuckle and was absolutely not what I had expected of the character. All in all, this was definitely worth the read and fans of the author and the historical romance genre should pick it up. As I said before, the author’s writing was superb and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Told in first person, it is from the perspective of a young woman who has been sequestered at home helping her father with his botany work. But now her uncle and father have decided she should be married and someone else has come in to take her place. She feels completely displaced and out of sorts. The book tells the story of her endeavors to convince her father of how much he needs her while making men fall in love with her. I loved reading this book, but what resonated with me most was the heroine's deep sense of displacement. How many of us have felt like we just don't fit no matter which way we turn? Yet through the pages of this story, I was reminded that God does indeed have a place for each of us. And that He turns our stories into things of beauty, even when there are a few valleys along the way. I also enjoyed looking into botany in 1850s England. There is enough richness to delight the most discriminating historical reader. And the romance is sweet and perfect. 
SavannaKaiser More than 1 year ago
With a beautiful cover that hints of the colorful plot within, Like a Flower in Bloom is a charming tale of a young botanist caught between her own dreams and her family’s obligations. Through Charlotte’s eyes, I watched the story unfold and quickly came to care and sympathize for the heroine and her troubles. As a writer and a gardener myself, I naturally enjoyed the “plant talk” in this book, but I think there’s something fun and fresh in it for everyone. I appreciated Charlotte’s straightforward honesty and simplicity. Readers will undoubtedly like her and will be also drawn, just as I was, to the strength and subtlety of Edward. There were some parts, however, that I felt were a bit drawn out and repetitive. I confess I grew a bit anxious waiting for things to move along and see if the two could work past their differences. The charade to find a husband became a little tiresome and a few details proved distracting to me, but the end was pleasantly rewarding and surprising. So read patiently… or read fast. ;) This was a quick and entertaining read for me. I flew through it in 2 days. It was my first time reading Siri Mitchell’s work. I enjoyed her style and her voice. I’ll definitely be watching for more of hers. I hope you will join me. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Isn't it fun when you find a whole new aspect to a beloved writer's talent? I have long been a fan of Siri Mitchell's writing. If the book has her name on it, I want to read it! When I think of her stories I think of strong women being triumphant in tough situations. The tales are always moving and inspiring but I don't think I've ever thought of them as funny . . . until this one! Like a Flower in Bloom has the comedic sophistication of Jane Austen's Emma mixed with the hilarious misunderstandings of Amelia Bedelia. Charlotte Withersby has jumped to the top of my list of favorite characters and her friend Miss Templeton isn't far behind. If I were to label this book I would lean more toward Historical Comedy than Historical Romance. Don't get me wrong there is definitely romance involved but part of the charm is that for most of it Charlotte doesn't have a clue about what is going on. In the midst of her debut into polite society she finds herself engaged to two men at the same time and she doesn't even realize that she has said yes to either of them. She's not stupid, she just doesn't get all of the crazy unspoken rules of society. But never fear the aggravating Mr. Trimble is always there to set her straight.  If you are needing a few hours of delightful entertainment be sure to get a copy of this book. I can almost guarantee it will have you smiling if not laughing out loud within minutes. My hope is that Siri chooses to visit this wonderful side of her writing again and again.  I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
What proper Victorian English woman would prefer the study of botany to finding a husband and raising a family? Charlotte Withersby would. She comes from a renown family of botanists. When her mother died, Charlotte took her place in assisting her father. In fact, Charlotte took over much of her father’s correspondence and writing including corresponding with a sheep farmer in Australia who has an interest in Botany. When the sheep farmer arrives in England, he is young with a keen interest in Botany and some secrets of his own. When Charlotte’s uncle, the Admiral, persuades Charlotte’s father that it is high time Charlotte entered society and secured a husband, Mr. Trimble, from Australia, is enlisted as Father’s assistant. Charlotte wants no part of the scheme, but realizes that the sooner she has a suitor, the sooner Mr. Trimble will leave. In the meantime, Charlotte makes friends, learns lessons in personal grooming and how to behave in society, and perhaps, falls in love. Siri Mitchell always has fascinating snippets of history in her books. In this novel, she focuses on the roll of women in science, particularly in the field of botany during the 1800s. Her Note from the Author section is particularly interesting and gave some real depth to the story. I very much enjoyed this story. The characters were fascinating with the right degree of eccentricity and the story will leave any lover of historical fiction satisfied. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Saturday, January 17, 2015 Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell, © 2015 "In Victorian-era northern England, Charlotte Withersby, daughter of a prominent botanist, attempts to regain her role as his assistant, despite society's expectations and the presence of Edward Trimble, her father's new assistant"––Provided by publisher. "Not having a choice is different than not caring." --Edward, Like a Flower in Bloom, 44 Charlotte Withersby has been caring for her father's correspondence and assisting in keeping a roof over their heads; well, not exactly, taking the pails in consideration to catch the rainwater... But, what would you think if all of a sudden ~ a suddenly ~ a man you have been answering mail to in place of your father, appears on your doorstep, is welcomed in? Before the course of the evening is over, he is at your dinner table and you must escort him to "his" room, as he is now your father's n~e~w assistant, in your place? That is exactly what happens to Charlotte as her uncle has explained to her father that she needs to be available to society to be enhanced with a husband. Charlotte is quite satisfied with her life the way it is ~ assisting her father's botany research and writing articles. Well, they will just see when the first bills become due and his illustrated series lack subscribers. And Edward Trimble, or whatever his name is, knows the first thing about preserving specimens? Not according to the various shipments sent to them from him. As Charlotte comes up with a plan to show them how necessary she is, she isn't so certain it was a good path to take. Not only are they not noticing her absence, they are carrying on as if she had never been there. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, isn't exactly happening. In fact, she is sure it isn't. Unexpendable. Fortunately, so it seems, at her first outing with her uncle as guardian, she meets a Miss Templeton who merits each gentleman with their prone to matrimony. Since Charlotte is adverse to such an idea, two prospects are suggested, who may be in her line of thinking. Measuring everything in her botanical way, is is not surprising she surmises the attributes of gentlemen in the same manner. Something about him reminded me of an invasive weed that has crept its way into a flower garden, trying to insinuate itself among the other plants. He looked harmless enough, he probably was harmless enough, but somehow he didn't quite belong. --Charlotte, Ibid., 86 It is comical how the two young women proceed to procure a future meeting at two appointed times on the same afternoon to view each gentleman's collection of plants. The plan is to be seen coming and going with repeated invites to secure a visual accent of interest. Charlotte is my very favorite character as she stays true to herself, even amid new norms thrust upon her of when to speak and when to keep her thoughts silent. To the end, you are not certain how it will all turn out. You may find your allegiance changing. The story is conversational between the characters throughout. I thoroughly enjoy Siri Mitchell's writings. She is merriment and engaging as her characters come alive off the page as if you are eavesdropping. Somehow, I feel they would invite us in willingly. ***Thank you to author Siri Mitchell and to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of Like a Flower in Bloom for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
LannieM More than 1 year ago
I recently finished reading Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell. What a breath of fresh air! I have to say, Siri Mitchell has yet to disappoint! This was an absolutely fantastic novel full of humor and heart. Never in my life have I been more interested in botany! Such a heavy topic to research, and yet the novel did not read like a science textbook! In fact, I absolutely loved learning all about it! Charlotte is an extremely relatable character for me. Her social idiosyncrasies along with her genuine attitude made her feel very real. I loved how she always spoke her mind! One thing I really appreciated was Charlotte's stance on women's rights and being recognized for her work. One could say she was ahead of her time! The romance in this story was absolutely hilarious and genuine. I could not have asked for more! Even the supporting characters had something wonderful to add to this already wonderful story! Overall, Charlotte's antics are ones I'll be enjoying for years to come! A truly magnificent story! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.
SunFlowerEyez More than 1 year ago
Bethany House publishers sent me this book for free in exchange for an honest review. A light and funny read set in the 1850’s Victorian era, Like a Flower in Bloom introduces us to Charlotte Withersby, an introverted scientist by nature; analytic and straightforward. After her mother’s death years before, Charlotte took over the running of the house and handling of her father’s affairs, including helping with his work in botany — a passion of her own –which includes writing books and papers on the subject in his name. Charlotte is perfectly content with this arrangement, so when her uncle insists that she leave all of it behind to come out into society and begin her search for a husband, Charlotte is begrudgingly thrown into a world she doesn’t understand. Parties and clubs and high fashion are foreign to her. She doesn’t even own the proper wardrobe to attend the events she is suddenly expected to. Charlotte wants nothing to do with marriage, but her father agrees with her uncle, employing a new assistant to take over all Charlotte’s duties, so she may be free to find a suitor. This doesn’t sit well with Charlotte. No one can do her work like she can. Especially not the new assistant, the infuriating Mr. Trimble! With the help of a new friend, the fetching Miss Templeton, Charlotte hatches a plan to pretend great interest in matrimony, in the hopes that her father will realize what he will lose if his daughter marries. Her plan begins to backfire however, as Mr. Trimble proves a worthy assistant to her father, and she begins to find more than one suitor interested in her hand. Charlotte is an entertaining character, charming in her lack of social graces and brutal honesty –a complete contrast to Miss Templeton, who is the epitome of a stereotypical vapid Victorian female. Overall A quick read with humorous wit and light romance. I even think I learned a bit about botany!
Lisa_L_Floyd More than 1 year ago
Recently I was provided a newly-released book free of charge by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my book review.  The book I was delighted to read was the new fiction/historical romance title by Siri Mitchell – Like a Flower in Bloom. Even today, women struggle with the life they want to have and that which is expected of them by others, either in society or in the eyes of family.  While most of us in the “free world” have the luxury of pursuing a career in whatever field we excel, there are still a great many women who don’t get a choice, or voice, in the matter.  In Like a Flower in Bloom, Siri Mitchell brings us the plight of one such young lady from the Victorian era who battles for her heart’s desire over societal expectation. The setting is Cheshire, England in 1852.  The story is told by none other than the main character herself - Charlotte Withersby.  Charlotte is a 22-year old young lady who lives with her botanist father, assisting him in his botany research and writing.  This is a job for which Charlotte is quite well-suited, and one she is happily resigned to for the remainder of her life.   Charlotte’s dream is to be a published botanist under her own name, something that was unheard of in that time, especially in the scientific field.  Her uncle convinces her father that she is getting old, and must be more about finding a husband, and less about writing.  The problem of who will help her father in his research and writing is quickly solved by the arrival of Mr. Trimble, a correspondent from the South Pacific who’s been aiding their research efforts for many years. While becoming more active in the social scene she neither desires nor embraces, Charlotte befriends Miss Templeton, a young socialite who is eager to teach Charlotte proper etiquette.  Miss Templeton agrees to help Charlotte craft a clever plan to give the appearance of seeking a suitor, while making it obvious there is nobody suited for the position.   “No one worth your time or trouble.  Of course, I might answer  differently if you actually wished to marry.  In that case you could even  consider old Mr. Carew, but the goal is to provoke a man into paying you  attention enough to raise alarm, but not enough to propose.  You’ve  issued quite a challenge, Miss Withersby, but I’ve both talent and time,  and if you leave it to my capable hands, you’ll soon be back to your life’s work.” Charlotte hopes that Mr. Trimble will serve as a horrible assistant to her father.  She also hopes that the men she and Miss Templeton choose to feign an interest in for betrothal will be denied by her father.  If the plan should work, Charlotte would return to her father’s side as his assistant and the life she desires.   Charlotte is a smart, feisty, rather opinionated voice of stubborn will.  She can’t understand why people talk in circles instead of just saying what they mean, and why she should be forced to be someone she’s not, or pursue a life she doesn’t want.  Several “suitors” are found, and Charlotte finds herself in quite the predicament as the book progresses.  Will she end up in dismay, or will there be a man who changes her mind about marriage?  You have to read this book to see what happens.  You won’t be disappointed. Like a Flower in Bloom is an insightful, yet thought-provoking read with a touch of delightful humor.  Mitchell brings to us characters you can relate to, in lives that are believable, and struggles that not only occurred in the late 1800s, but also appear in our lives today.  From the subtle details to the easy-flowing story line, I’m sure you’ll find this as much of a delight to read as I did.   Lisa L. Floyd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of LIKE A FLOWER IN BLOOM by Siri Mitchell from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I always love Siri Mitchell’s books, so I was thrilled to receive this. I haven’t missed one of hers yet. This time she takes the reader to Victorian-era England. Bravo! That’s a dear sport for me, for I once worked at a Victorian Fair. Reading this novel was a bit like stepping back to that fun summer. Siri Mitchell always rewards with an unusual plot – and a romance to make you coo. In this novel, young Charlotte Withersby loves helping her botanist father, but then her pesky uncle insists it is high time she married. Enter Edward Trimble, who is now going to help her father. Of course Charlotte must hatch some schemes to continue on as her father’s assistant, and along the way she takes a liking to dear Edward Trimble. This book includes plenty of humor, so be prepared if reading in it public. It elicited many a chuckle from me. Overall, this is another top-notch novel from a master of historical romance, Siri Mitchell. I look forward to seeing what she comes out with next.
Kaelme More than 1 year ago
With a few exceptions (most noteably "The Messenger" and "Love's Pursuit"), Mitchell's works typically combine exaggerated humor with surprisingly thoughtful moments.  I love most of Mitchell's novels because they do this well.  They dive into personality depths with levity, drawing out humor while amplifying a personality trait/difficulty/struggle so it can be identified more clearly.  While this can be seen as unrealistic, I enjoy the amplification, seeing it more as a parable than a completely realistic lesson.  "Like a Flower in Bloom" follows this same pattern, and I enjoyed it more than two of her most recent novels.  Here we get a wonderful look at the inner thoughts and wrestlings of an introvert who seems to have many reasons to be confident, but finds every reason to doubt her own worth, including loved ones who unconsciously contribute to her own doubts.  The external circumstances are pronounced and rife with exaggeration, but I found "Like a Flower in Bloom" to be a powerful work of fiction that manages to pose good questions about how to accept the person we were born to be, instead of wishing to fit into a different mold.  
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell is a fantastically done story set in 1850s England. I was drawn into this story of a female botanist struggling to receive recognition for her work. Her life was bound up in cataloging and researching flowers and plants and because of that she was one of the most honest, true, funny characters I've ever read. You can't help but love her. :-) Charlotte Withersby has been helping her botanist father ever since her mother died eight years ago. She's been writing his books, drawing the illustrations, taking care of all the correspondence, and paying all the bills. When her uncle convinces her father that she needs to stop being his assistant and have a social life, Charlotte is flabbergasted. Forced from what she loves doing so she can enter society to snag a husband, Charlotte feels unwanted and unloved especially from her father. Edward Trimble has been one of Mr. Withersby correspondents from New Zealand for the last three years. He came back to England and immediately went to their home to speak to Mr Withersby. Once there he is offered the job as his assistant. Charlotte is hurt and furious that he is going to take over her job, and she is determined to out him as soon as possible. What Edward doesn't know is that Charlotte is the one he had been writing to for the last three years. Charlotte is terrified he will found out and hopes she can keep it hidden. The main character was wonderfully done, and I really felt for her. When she was trying not to cry, I was trying not to cry with her. When she accepted who she was, I breathed a sigh of contentment. When love found her, I was thrilled for her. When she stood up for herself, I cheered along with her. I loved how smart she was with botany but how clueless she was with the rules of etiquette. It made for some funny moments in the story. I loved how the author transformed Charlotte from a flower bud into a flower in bloom, and it is a great story of a woman accepting who she is and not looking back. I was given this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell is a lovely historical romance novel. It is such an enjoyable book to read (it made me laugh). Like a Flower in Bloom takes place in 1852 Cheshire, England. Charlotte Withersby is twenty-two and unmarried (very unusual for a girl in 1852). Since her mother passed away, Charlotte has been taking care of her father. Mr. Withersby writes books on botany and Charlotte has gotten very knowledgeable on the subject. Charlotte takes care of the household (sort of), writes books and articles, collects specimens, does her father’s illustrations, and handles her father’s correspondence. Charlotte’s uncle, The Admiral, has decided that Charlotte should get married and has convinced Charlotte’s father. Mr. Withersby gets a new assistant, Mr. Edward Trimble, and sends Charlotte out into Society! Charlotte has never been out in “polite society” and does not know how to act nor does she have the appropriate clothes. Charlotte knows a great deal about plants, but nothing about finding a husband. What follows is a funny, delightful story. I hope you will read Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell and find it as enjoyable as I did! Happy Reading! I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
A delightful “fish out of water” novel! I absolutely love the characters that Siri has created for this novel. When she introduces Charlotte it is very easy to understand who she is and what her focus for her life is. Then we are introduced to her uncle and her whole existence is turned upside down. The journey she embarks on to try and learn all that she feels is now expected of her is a joy to go on with her. There are multiple times throughout the book that I found myself laughing outright.  The other characters are equally well developed and a lot of fun to get to know and try to understand. After meeting most of the characters it is a wonderful surprise to realize who is able to give her the best advice as she tries to transition to her new role. I personally don’t know what most flowers are, or the different parts of them, so I really can’t speak to the accuracy of the botanical terms used. I am sure that the research Siri did to write clearly about this very detailed subject was intense. I must applaud her attention to research and presenting the topic so thoroughly. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a humorous tale of a young lady whose botanist father unexpectedly hires a young man to take over the secretarial duties she's been doing since her mother's death...and instructs her to go into society and get married. Charlotte has led a very sheltered life and has no idea to function within the eccentricities of polite society and just happens to have a great passion for the work that has occupied her all of her life. She sets herself to accomplish one thing: her reinstatement as her father's right hand. To do this she must show herself willing to abandon all her former duties and to give her whole heart to her new pursuit--just to show her father how much he really needs her. She makes friends along the way and has quite the adventures before her future is decided...and that might just be a surprise to all parties involved! I very much enjoyed this.