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Wallflower in Bloom: A Novel Paperback – May 21, 2013

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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

"A fun-filled romp of a middle-aged woman coming into her own. Through Claire Cook's skilled narrative, [readers] won't realize till the very end they've been taught a wonderful lesson. It is never too late to find your place in the world." -San Francisco Book Review 

“A fun-filled romp of a middle-aged womancoming into her own. Through Claire Cook’s skilled narrative, [readers] won’trealize till the very end they’ve been taught a wonderful lesson. It is nevertoo late to find your place in the world.” (San Francisco Book Review)

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

A Working Mother "Summer Beach Read" (Working Mother)

“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

“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

“Cook’s penchant forhitting the emotional sore spot and combining it with humor hits the mark. ...A thoroughly enjoyable and amusing read, this story is sure to delight.” (New York Journal of Books)

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 film adaptation of her second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is the bestselling author of nine other novels and divides her time between the suburbs of Atlanta and Boston. Visit her at


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (May 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451672772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451672770
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thanks so much for discovering my books! 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. I'm now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 14 books. If you have a buried dream, trust me, it is NEVER too late!

I've reinvented myself again by turning Must Love Dogs into a series and writing my first nonfiction book Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (#1 Amazon Bestseller Women's Personal Growth!) to share everything I've learned on my own journey that might help you in your own. I've also started my own company, Marshbury Beach Books, to rerelease seven of my backlist books as well as three new ones, so I'm officially a hybrid author, both traditionally and independently published.

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 was a teacher for sixteen years before writing my first book. 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.

Be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways and insider extras at Hang out with me on Facebook (ClaireCookauthorpage), Twitter (ClaireCookwrite) and Pinterest (ClaireCookwrite).

Customer Reviews

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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Holly TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of the best parts of summer is the slew of lighter, fun reads that are published. I love nothing better than on a hot, steamy afternoon, sitting on my sun porch and diving into one of the new novels. The covers always promise so much and I have to say the cover art on this particular novel is wonderful and drew me in.

In this novel by Claire Cook, our protagonist is Deirdre Griffin. She is a woman raised in a tight knit family with lots of sibling rivalry and off-beat parents. That family is still most of her world, even as an adult. Her brother, Tag, has become a new age guru who is adored by the public and has become the family business. They all live on or near his compound and work for him in some way, particularly involved is Deirdre who is his personal assistant and gopher. Her life is dictated by him and his whims and over the years she has come to resent it. One night she has finally had her fill and, fueled by more alcohol that is wise, manages to get herself in the running for a spot on Dance with the Stars. Is this an opportunity for her to finally break away and no longer be the family wallflower or has she just put herself in a position of complete humiliation? Only by reading the book will the reader find out.

As I said at the beginning, I had high hopes for this narrative as the premise seemed off-beat and fun plus I have enjoyed other novels by this same author. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed and almost quit reading about half way in. The heroine is so whiny and unlikeable that I almost understood why the family treated her the way they did. Instead of having a character to cheer on, I ended up not liking any of the characters and found them all irritating. The first-person narrative can come across as fresh and witty but not this time.
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5 of 6 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 JerseyGirl Yvonne 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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