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Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful Paperback – March 18, 2008
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In Flower Confidential (Algonquin Books, 2007), Stewart takes us deep inside the huge and profitable business of flowers. From a lily grower in the American Northwest, to the rose fields of Ecuador she introduces us to the people, places and plants that travel all over the world to supply our human need for colorful and almost too perfect flowers.
Flower Confidential is a fun romp around the world that also holds some deep concerns. The treatment of the workers in the fields and greenhouses is an on-going issue no matter where the author visits. She also discusses how the need for a "perfect" flower that travels well and lasts long in the vase has removed their scent. It also puts us in danger of producing yet another industry focused on lowest-common denominator, where each flower looks begins to look much like every other flower.
Stewart's writing takes us along on her travels, describing people and plants alike in a visual style that gives us an understanding of who they are and what they are trying to accomplish. We feel the sense of amazement as she visits the Miami airport center where the majority of flowers enter the US. I particularly felt her desire to scoop up armloads of flowers or save those consigned to the compost heaps.
Immerse yourself in the little-known of flowers and the people who grow them. You will develop a new-found respect for what both suffer to provide that perfect arrangement for your dining room table.
That said, this book is more or less accurate about the major points of the industry, but wrong on many minor points. It gets the big things right, more or less. I am a flower wholesaler and have been for more than 20 years and I've bought from many of the companies Amy writes about and I've carried many of the varieties of flowers she describes and over all she has it basically ok.
My problems with the book though fall into two main categories:
1) Her writing style is nothing special and tends towards the breathlessly over emotive side. She can't just say that a flower is pretty, she has to say that she wants to mortgage her house and buy 2,000 stems of it and take them home and roll around on them while dreaming of sunshine and eternal life, stuff like that. Kind of hard to take seriously but I guess that's a matter of taste
she also goes off on tangents about things like the sexual harassment that's supposedly prevalent on farms in south america or things like that which tbh i think are both debatable and add nothing to the book, but again, that's a matter of taste i guess
2) Many of the details in this book, usually smaller stuff, are just totally wrong. Which is really bizarre because its usually details that don't really matter that much. For instance, in a chapter about the rose industry in South America, Amy asserts that roses are bundled either in 20's for consumption in one market, or in 12's for consumption in another.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of interesting facts and stories of the flower industry from the very beginning to today. The author traveled the globe to give the reader all the background and information... Read morePublished 15 days ago by KSP
Awesome insight into the background of flowers and the people who helped engineer different varieties.Published 3 months ago by Leslie Heinz
Get any of her books. She can make any subject interesting. I've given several to my friends and family. Look for the Drunken Botanist.Published 16 months ago by Quinlan.
I expected photos to be in the book. I was looking for more of a educational text with photos, but instead it's more about one person's journey into the flower/plant worldPublished 16 months ago by homegal