Secret Sense of Wildflower

Secret Sense of Wildflower

by Susan Gabriel

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940014946049
Publisher: Wild Lily Arts
Publication date: 04/22/2012
Series: Wildflower , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 212
Sales rank: 79,291
File size: 633 KB

About the Author

Susan Gabriel is an acclaimed writer who lives in the mountains of North Carolina. Her novel, The Secret Sense of Wildflower, was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012 and is a Nook #1 bestseller.

She is also the author of Temple Secrets and other novels. Discover more about Susan at

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The Secret Sense of Wildflower 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
TTThomas More than 1 year ago
I’ve read a lot of coming-of-age novels that were poignant, heart-warming and full of the kind of quixotic things a child deduces from her environment, but I’ve never read a story as dramatically understated that sings so powerfully and honestly about the sense of life that stands in tribute to bravery as Susan Gabriel’s The Secret Sense of Wildflower. As others have noted, Louisa May “Wildflower” McAlister is the youngest child of Tennessee mountain folk during the 1940s. Despite the poverty, the narrow-minded biases of the close-knit community and the outcast victims of both, Wildflower always seems to find an accepting, matter-of-fact take on things, especially things she doesn’t fully understand. The child is gracious in her humanity, hysterical in her frank distaste for some of it, and both a beneficiary and a victim of some of the mountain folk’s best tenderness and worst ignorance. Gabriel’s writing style combines the stark and muted overtones of emotions unarticulated with the sparse but audible undertones of the (near) old South to capture the flavor of the environment and the mindset of its people. She is unfailing in her steadfast adherence to keeping us within the point of view of Wildflower while giving us plenty of insight into the other characters by what they do and don’t say. Gabriel’s choices here were markswoman perfect. And what a lovely tribute to Little Women, and its author, Louisa May Alcott! I daresay Miss Alcott would accept the tribute and complement the author on a job well done!  I did not think the interior and expository utterances of a 13-year girl could hold my attention for an entire book, but in fact, my attention never wavered. I think Gabriel’s success in achieving the full attention of the reader is partially because Wildflower is more adult than most of the adults around her. But she has another dimension that most adults would not ordinarily attribute to a young girl: She is simultaneously innocent and guileless in her trust of people’s innate goodness any yet she possesses a hyper-vigilant awareness of the warning signals that forewarn her of the aberrant hearts of the damaged people she meets. Wildflower rarely ignores here “secret sense” but the one time she does, in her determination to honor the dead, she nearly loses her own life. How Louisa May handles the challenges of being both a survivor and a victim is heroic beyond imagining and tenderly beautiful beyond words that Gabriel, somehow, managed to find and give us in a gesture of authorly benevolence that this reader will forever remember and appreciate.
reb922 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Louisa May who prefers to be called Wildflower is 13 and living in Appalachia in the 1940's. We are first introduced to her as she is still mourning the loss of her father a year ago in an accident. The characters are well written and kept me interested in the story. This was a fast read and a coming of age story dealing with tragedy, loss and the general hardships of life experienced by this young girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly enjoyed the book. Wish it would of been longer. Get this book and lilys song. Both you will enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Different from what I usually read but a nice chage.
runnergirlLK More than 1 year ago
I thought I'd give this a chance -- it sounded interesting because of both the time period and the location. I found I just completely disliked it. Louisa May ("Wildflower") was an OK young heroine, but I just knew what was going to happen to her. So the plot was not suspenseful -- it was just a matter of how long into the story "it" was going to happen (I don't want to state it here - no spoiler). Overall, I just didn't like the characters and I didn't like the plot/story line. I suspect my book club group would like it (I find with some of our selections that I am often the only one who doesn't like a particular book, and it is usually one like this -- so that is why I decided to try it in case I could recommend it as a monthly selection. But I most definitely will not.). The author did do a good job of evoking the rigidity and narrow-mindedness of the community; I'll give her that. For me, this book completely missed the mark.
Anne More than 1 year ago
A fantastic read! I enjoyed Gabriel's first novel, Seeking Sara Summers. The Secret Sense of Wildflower is quite a departure, or perhaps demonstrates the breadth of Gabriel's abilities. It also shows her depth, as the writing is very solid. The novel is set in 1940's Appalachia and is full of humor mixed in with a serious theme. Wildflower (her nickname) is a spunky teen whose beloved father died a year or so ago and she and her mother and three sisters forge their way without their man. A local boy, Johnny Monroe is one of those mountain cretins you don't want to meet (think Deliverance) and he and Wildflower have a dramatic encounter. I don't want to reveal the storyline, but I recommend this to those who are tired of badly written novels and want a lyrical, suspenseful story that is hard to forget.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a quick read and really liked the principle character.