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Wallflower in Bloom: A Novel Hardcover – June 5, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451672764
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451672763
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #725,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Wallflower in Bloom is absolutely, hands-down, Claire Cook's best novel to date. Cook's characters are delightful and quirky, and the storyline is fast paced and lively with just the right touch of humor and romance. Slip on your dancing shoes and enjoy a few spins around the floor with this charming novel!" - Fresh Fiction

"This is a very funny read that will make you roll your eyes about family!" (Indie Bound)

“A fun and inspiring read . . . Cook’s humor and narrative execution is impeccable; Deirdre’s increasing self-consciousness elicits support for her to overcome insecurity and endure in her journey to find happiness and fulfillment on her own terms.” —Publishers Weekly

“Filled with sweet humor and all the eye-rolling moments of jumbled yet ultimately loving family relations, romance, and coming into one’s own, this women’s fiction is a definite pleaser for devotees of the genre.” --Booklist

About the Author

Claire Cook wrote her first novel in her minivan when she was forty-five. At fifty, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation her second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is the bestselling author of eight other novels and divides her time between the suburbs of Atlanta and Boston. Visit  ClaireCook.com.

More About the Author

Reinvention is the story of my books and my life. I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, MUST LOVE DOGS, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. And I've just reinvented myself again by writing my first nonfiction book, NEVER TOO LATE, to share everything I've learned on my own journey that might help you in your own.

If you have a buried dream, trust me, it is NEVER too late!

Make sure you stop by my website, ClaireCook.com, to download your free NEVER TOO LATE workbook and sign up for my newsletter to be the first to hear about new releases, insider extras, and fun giveaways.

Some of the nice things that have been said about my work: "The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women's fiction," according to The Times-Picayune. People magazine said my writing "goes down as easy as it sounds," Good Housekeeping called it "laugh-out-loud," Redbook "gleefully quirky" and the Chicago Tribune "funny and pitch perfect." Shelf Awareness said, "Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women's fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations."

I've been a judge for the Family Circle magazine fiction contest, a finalist and a judge for the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and the Beach Book Festival fiction and grand prize winner. I've spoken at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, Cape Cod Writers Center, Savannah Book Festival, the California Women's Conference, and given keynotes at the Dress for Success International Conference, the Missouri Writers Guild Conference, and the Amelia Island Book Festival, and many more. My books have been translated into 14 languages.

I was a teacher for sixteen years before writing my first book, and worked with children from preschool to middle school, teaching everything from multicultural games and dances, to writing, to open ocean rowing. I was born in Virginia, and lived for many years in Scituate, Massachusetts, a beach town between Boston and Cape Cod. My husband and I have recently moved to the suburbs of Atlanta to be closer to our two adult kids, who actually want us around again!

I have the world's most fabulous readers, and I'm forever grateful to you all for giving me the gift of this career.

Midlife Rocks!


Hang out with me:

Customer Reviews

Fun summer read!
The story was excellent, beautifully written and heartwarming.
Erin Lindsey Maurer
It is so easy to relate to Dierdre, the main character.
Laurie W-J-N

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Deirdre Griffin feels like a ghost when compared to her siblings. This she feel is especially true as she is at best a wilted wallflower in comparison to her charismatic brother Tag, considered the "next big thing." As his personal assistant and house sitter Deirdre puts up with a lot, but in Austin, she abruptly quits when she feels he abuses her support of him.

When her on and off boyfriend tells her he is marrying the woman carrying his baby, Deirdre explodes as he had told her no children. Intoxicated by drinking Tag's vodka, Deirdre uses her sibling's humongous massive online fan base to arrange for her inclusion on Dancing with the Stars as she decides it is past time for a wallflower to bloom.

This amusing lighthearted contemporary story is a strong coming of age tale as the wallflower struggles to overcome her doubts and insecurities. The storyline is fast-paced with readers rooting for the heroine to succeed at Dancing with the Stars and in Austin with Steve the garden guru. With a nod to America's Sweethearts, fans will enjoy the comedic yet deep look at a Wallflower in Bloom.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bill Weinberger on June 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Don't look at me like that. Sure, 3 stars means I did like this book, and I'm not even in the target demographic (a bit too male). I'm allowed to read something different once in a while. And enjoy it. So there. Besides, I like Dancing with the Stars.

What worked for me: The deadpan voice of the first-person narrator. Given her messed up personal situation and her hapless reactions, she could have some across as whining. By keeping her reasonably level-headed, the author makes it possible for us to stick with her. And by not making her too empowered or snarky, we don't get put off, either. Beyond that, the prose, dialog, settings, and descriptions are all first-rate. There is nothing to complain about in terms of basic writing skills.

What didn't really work for me, once it occurred to me, is believing that this powerful, effective personal assistant for a popular pop figure is so easily reduced to a hapless, clueless shlub. I was also put off by the completely inane relationship she has with her brother and the rest of her family. Sure, this is the source of conflict for the story. But this is one of those conflicts that could be resolved in about two minutes if just one of the participants would act like a grown up, instead of a thirteen-year-old.

As for all of the rigmarole dealing with Dancing with the Stars and Hollywood: this is reasonably believable and mostly fun. In some ways, I wish it could have been richer. Just as it all seemed to get rolling, everything is resolved. This is perhaps due to the short length of the book. I read it in only a few hours, spread over several days. This will be a fun beach read for those in its target audience. As for the rest of us, you may like it, too (especially if you are a DWTS fan, like me).

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine on August 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What an engaging and fun story this is!

As a long-time fan of Dancing With the Stars, I was hooked from the beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed this inspiring and entertaining book. With a message for all of us who have sat on the fence, waiting and wondering if/when our own time to shine will come. In this story, Deirdrie took the chance and came up the winner and in so many ways. I was sorry to turn the last page.

Keep them coming Claire, can't wait to see what your next novel will bring!

Read my complete review of this book and also Best Staged Plans by the same author at:

my real life reviews dot com
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JerseyGirl VINE VOICE on June 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wallflower in Bloom: A Novel is not my favorite Claire Cook book but if you want a cute and quick read to throw in your beachbag this summer then this latest from the author will fill the bill.

Dee Dee Griffin is the personal assistant for her very famous brother, Tag Griffin, a self-help guru who has his entire family, including his ex-wives, helping to run his new age worship empire. But none is so hung up in his personal sphere as sister Dee Dee; she is so into his life that she finds she has no life of her own. One day the fact that Tag's life is overwhelming her own life causes Dee Dee to chuck it all and disappear for a few days. While doing her disappearing act, Dee decides to try out for Dancing with the Stars and uses her brother's bigger than life self to get her on the show.

Dee learns about herself and her value while hitting the road and joining the Dancing with the Stars show; the book deals with the author's favorite topic - a woman's search for renewal and empowerment. This is a topic that has appeared in other Claire Cook books so Wallflower in Bloom: A Novel continues in that flavor.

The second chapter is one of the funniest for me when Dee is in the elevator with what turns out to be an old college friend of her brother, Tag. Other chapters are fun but not as laugh out loud funny as this. This is not my favorite Claire Cook novel,however, it is a lively and quick read for a day on the porch or at the beach this summer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Newton on June 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook is a perfect example of fun chic-lit that is perfect for the summer sun in a nice vacation spot. It is also fun and sassy with the author's sense of humor, so it makes it that much more entertaining to read.

Wallflower in Bloom is an entertaining summer relaxing read. I wouldn't go so far as to say it is high literature or anything, but it is fun and breezy. The author is humorous and sassy, which is just what I enjoyed most about this novel.

The main character Deirdre often made me want to shake her for some of the choices she made, but you want to cheer her on and see her succeed nonetheless. Having this character be a Dancing with the Stars replacement "celebrity" is very unrealistic, as she wasn't a celebrity, her brother was. Fans of this show will more than likely really enjoy this book because of the focus of this in the novel. I'm not a fan, so I can't say I really enjoyed this being in the novel.

Overall, I found this novel to be entertaining and sassy, thanks to the author. I think it would make for an excellent beach read or summer read in general. I recommend it to all those needing a relaxing and funny read to pass the time this summer.

* Thank you to the publisher of Wallflower in Bloom, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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