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Wildflowers: A Novel [Paperback]

Lyah Beth LeFlore
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 8, 2009
Twenty-three dollars and eleven cents–that’s all that thirty-five-year-old Chloe Davis Michaels has to her name after she is driven from her home and career as a jet-setting Hollywood publicist, desperate to protect her unborn child from her crazed newlywed husband. She thought she had it all. Now Chloe seeks refuge in her Midwestern hometown to “get prayed up” by the women in her family.
Chloe’s impromptu homecoming takes us into the world of eight African-American women who make up the Davis clan–three mothers and five daughters, including Chloe, who soon discovers that the secrets she’s been keeping about her own life don’t compare to the secrets the other women in her family have been hiding.
As the bonds of family are tested, the women call upon their strong faith and spiritual teachings of deceased family matriarchs, MaMaw and Muh, in order to weather the storm.
With rippling boldness and crackling prose, Wildflowers is a beautifully written novel that explores the richness and complexity of the love between mothers and daughters.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

LeFlore's expressive prose captures the diverse and eloquent perspectives of the soulfully satisfying Davis women who gather to help L.A. PR whiz Chloe recover from the painful loss of her miscarriage and her brief, disastrous marriage to con man Gregorry Robinson III. Chloe returns home to St. Louis to lick her wounds; waiting for her is her struggling artist mother, Joy Ann, and her sisters—Eve, who's dating a selfish boyfriend, and Fawn, who's supposedly happily married but is contemplating a torrid affair with her minister. Other women in the Davis estrogen tree have plenty of problems, too, from health issues (some grave) to more fun-of-the-mill matters of finding their way in life. LeFlore delivers an unmistakable message of solidarity, revealing how conflicts, when confronted together, provide solace and opportunity for growth. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for Wildflowers

"LeFlore's expressive prose captures the diverse and elegant perspectives of the soulfully satisfying Davis women who gather to help L.A PR whiz Chloe recover from the painful loss of her miscarriage and her brief, disastrous marriage to con man Gregory Robinson III.  Chloe returns home to St. Louis to lick her wounds; waiting for her is her struggling artist mother, Joy Ann, and her sisters—Eve, who's dating a selfish boyfriend, and Fawn, who's supposedly happily married but is contemplating a torrid affair with her minister.  Other women in the Davis estrogen tree have plenty of problems, too, from health issues (some grave) to more fun-of-the mill matters finding their way in life.  LeFlore delivers an unmistakable message of solidarity, revealing how conflicts, when confronted together, provide solace and opportunity for growth."—Publisher's Weekly


"Tired of waiting 12 years for her true love to declare himself, 35-year-old Chloe Michaels succumbs to a whirlwind romance with another man.  Within months, she knows she has made a mistake in marrying him but is too proud to admit it until a miscarriage and escalating violence drive her from L.A. and her successful business back home to St. Louis.  In her hometown, she finds comfort, confusion, and tension among the strong-willed women of her family: her sisters, Eva and Fawn; her mother, Joy Ann; and her aunts, as well as the memories of family matriarchs.  Old hurts, including color complexes, bubble to the surface, and old secrets are loosed as the visit uncovers a host of problems: cheating and being cheated, a cancer scare, failing careers, money woes, self doubts, troubled children.  Each chapter is told through the perspective of a different woman, offering a spectrum of personalities and intertwined relationships as the women come to self-realization and an appreciation of their family ties."--Booklist

"A family of strong-willed African American women bands together to face some harsh realities.
Heartbroken and frightened after being abandoned by her mentally unstable husband of just a few months, Hollywood publicist Chloe Michaels heads to the one place she will always be welcome: her mother Joy Ann's small home in St. Louis. Staying with Joy Ann, a bohemian painter still struggling to get by, helps Chloe put her own problems in perspective.
Oldest sister Fawn leads the pampered life of a doctor's wife but inwardly lusts for her new pastor. Middle sister Eve is unhappily shacked up with the loutish Dale. Aunt Carol Jane is eating herself to death worrying about her daughter Ceci, a hard-partying single mom who displays no interest in dealing with her drug and alcohol habits. Billye Jean, Carol Jane and Joy Ann's sister, has a womanizing old coot of a husband and a middle-aged junkie son who lives on the streets. As Chloe tries to heal and plan a better future for herself, long-simmering family secrets bubble to the surface, bringing with them tensions and resentments going back decades. This leads to verbal fireworks, tragic losses, illegitimate babies and, eventually, prayers and forgiveness among the ladies. The men are for the most part weak-willed scoundrels, although Chloe meets a retired NBA player named Lance who shows some promise. LeFlore (Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, 2006, etc.) sometimes tries to do too much, and the many interconnected characters can be hard to keep track of, but this emotionally raw tale shows an authentic respect for female strength and black tradition.
Cathartic melodrama with some spiritual grounding." --Kirkus


"The 'perfect' life of a pregnant Chloe Davis Michaels changes when she flees Los Angeles to escape her violent husband.  Follow Chloe's lessons on love and spirituality as she finds strength in her family of women."-- Uptown

"An intimate family portrait exploring the fierce love, powerful bond, and intricate tapestry of the lives of African American mothers and daughters. Lyah Beth LeFlore's simple, yet richly detailed writing, skillfully molds wisdom, humor, love, sadness, and triumph through a panorama of distinctive voices."
 
–Shelby Stone, Golden Globe and NAACP Image Award winning producer of Boycott, Lackawanna Blues, and Life Support
 

"Lyah Beth LeFlore uses words to paint a picture of struggle, love, and faith. After reading this book I called my mother, my sister, and told my wife I love her!" 
–Reggie Rock Bythewood, screenwriter of Get On the Bus and co-writer of Notorious

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767921194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767921190
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,334,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Wildflowers is a great book about the challenges of Chloe, a young woman who has found herself, developed a great career, thrown a huge curve ball, and is once again trying to find herself and her life during tumultous times. The book emphasizes the strength of a mother and family, much like lionesses in a pride, when life challenges Chloe.

Instead of a novel that tells you what is occurring to someone, this book draws you into the life of a young lady, her family, and friends, as Chloe attempts to struggle through life and be strong. The book reads like you are having wine or drinks and talking with a group of friends rather than telling the story from the perspective of a single individual or a third party. Wildflowers envelopes you into the "lives" of each person experiencing Chloe's turmoil and assist her through the difficult times she is facing as she attempts to reinvent herself and struggle through life.

We met the author and attended the Atlanta book signing and heard her speak. Lyah Beth LeFlore is a great author and an equally amazing speaker. Her words gave me goose bumps and her voice is beautiful and amazingly powerful. If you have a chance to read the book or hear the author, or both, it will be an amazing experience, guaranteed to move you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too many characters, no clear plot! May 6, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't like this book. Author introduced too many characters and the plot was a bit confusing. This was my first time reading a book by this author.... Hope her next books are better
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family! September 23, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book and was completely able to relate to the characters. Chloe, her mother, aunts and sisters were the 'realest' female characters I had read in a long time. And boy did they bring the flavor and personalities. They literally danced off the page.

Chloe goes to her hometown, once her husband, Greggory betrays her in egregious ways. She simply wants to recover. However, once there she discovers that in the midst of all of her family's drama is love, healing and acceptance.

I recommend this book to all readers, but, particularly to those 'Wildflower Women' amongst us...

angelia vernon menchan
Author of Mrs. Black?
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4.0 out of 5 stars God has the last good word!!!!! June 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. ......... I loved all the characters and the relationship they had with each other. I really loved the relationship Chole had with her mom. My favorite character was Cousin C.C. She stayed true to character and she was funny. I love the way it started and ended. Being from Louisiana I understood all the how should I say( beliefs and brews and remedies so to speak)lol.. The one thing That wasn't done that I thought the author should have elaborated more on Aunt Billie Jean the day she found the woman in her husband's truck and the heart attack that happened on that day.. I would highly recommend this book if you want a good feel-good book about family ties and the love that keeps a family together.

Signed:

A family that prays together stays together.
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