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Flowers from the Storm Mass Market Paperback – May 27, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 314 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Would you like to convert someone who says romances aren't "real" novels? This book is the one that will do it! Flowers from the Storm is one of the best books in the genre. Christian Langland, Duke of Jerveaux is the ultimate hero. A brilliant mathematician and a complete rake, Christian is a man of contradictions. When a stroke leaves him permanently unable to speak, his family believes him to be mad and relegates him to a sanitarium. Fortunately, Maddy, a righteous Quaker and do- gooder, recognizes that Christian is not insane--he just can't talk! Maddy may not be the most likable heroine you'll encounter, but she has depth and character, and is probably one of the few people you could imagine who would have the patience and understanding to accept and live with Christian's intense anger and frustration. This is a book that defines the word "keeper."

About the Author

Laura Kinsale is a winner and multiple nominee for the Best Book of the Year award given by the Romance Writers of America. She became a romance writer after six years as a geologist -- a career which consisted of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and driving hundreds of miles alone across west Texas to sit at drilling rigs, wear a hard hat, and attempt to boss around oil-covered males considerably larger than herself. This, she decided, was pushing her luck. So she gave all that up to sit in a chair and stare into space for long periods of time, attempting to figure out What-Happens-Next. She and her husband David currently divide their time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Texas.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (May 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380761327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380761326
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (314 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
You know a book has a lot to live up to when you read things like "One of the world's most cherished love stories!" and "Probably the best historical romance ever published" and "One of the greatest love stories of all time" not to mention "A watershed in romance fiction". This book and this author (whom I've never read) seem to be much revered by readers and authors alike, so when this book was re-issued in June, I was glad of the chance to read it and see for myself what all the fuss was about. And let me tell you I was not only blown away, but I'll be searching out Ms Kinsale's other books for sure! A great book, compelling characters and a story to make you smile and weep and worry and hope that all will be well in the end!
When first we meet Christian Langland, Duke of Jervaulx, he is too handsome and charming for his own good, dissolute, completely reckless and full of hubris. He also happens to be a mathematical genius. He is working on a paper detailing a new mathematical theory with an unlikely partner - blind Quaker John Timms whose daughter Archimedea (Maddy) is his eyes and caregiver. Maddy is both fascinated and repulsed by the duke and his wild, worldly ways (he actually flirts with her!). When word comes that he has perished in a duel, both the news and her reaction to it shock her, as she weeps for this man she thought she did not even like!
Months later, Maddy and her father find themselves at Blythedale Hall, an insane asylum for the well to do where Maddy will assist her Cousin Edward who runs the place. On rounds to meet the patients, she is stunned to discover a disheveled, wild-eyed Jervaulx among the inmates!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Flowers from the Storm" is a most unusual romance. Indeed, take away the silly cover and it probably could be placed in the literature shelf. The book certainly includes the growth of a relationship but it is so much more complex than 99% of the romance market. Indeed, it was a bit more of a challenge than I wanted at times (I read it while ill) but I'm glad I stuck with it.
The challenge lies mostly in the language of the book. For many authors it would be enough to have a Quaker character with all of the "thee/thou" language. Kinsale starts with not only the Quaker language but Maddy's struggle to be a Quaker falling in love outside of her faith. THEN, Kinsale creates a most unusual hero - a regency rake who's a mathematical genius. THEN, our hero has a stroke and we spend much of the book looking at (and hearing) the world through his impaired facilities. Both his speech and his hearing are damaged and the reader has to guess at what he says and hears. It can be done but it requires careful reading.
Bottom-line: An unusual romance that is worth the extra effort - but it is important to go into this reading experience prepared for a different experience.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read Flowers from the Storm after reading about 20 other romance novels. What impressed me about Flowers was that for the first time in a romance novel, I encountered an author who assumes that romance readers have intelligence. Not only does she challenge her readers to follow the Quaker thee/thou speech, she also puts her readers inside of Jervaulx's mind and forces us to see and hear the world through his stroke-damaged perceptions--a world where simple English words have little meaning. She then takes this one step further, challenging us to follow along with her, by letting us feel Jervaulx's frustration and rage and letting us hear what he hears as he tries to understand Maddy's thee/thou Quaker speech. Ingenious! I've read somewhere that Kinsale's greatest skill is in taking a hero that no one could love and making you want to lick his boots by the end of the story. This is never truer than in Flowers from the Storm. This book needs to be reprinted!
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By A Customer on May 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book left me torn. I really enjoyed the first half. Christian, Duke of Jervaulx, is a rake, but not THAT bad of one-he drinks, gambles, has affairs with willing married ladies. He is also a genius. One day he suffers a horrible stroke that leaves him unable to speak or understand language. His nasty family sends him straight to the madhouse, where he is beaten, humiliated & misunderstood.
In comes Maddy. She realizes that Christian is not mad, but is trapped inside his own mind, unable to speak. She has some sort of ephinany that it is God's Will that she help this man. So she does. Sort of. Christian sees that she is the only one who can help him, and is desperate for her. But she seems too scared to really be helpful. She is constantly letting other people tell her what to do & how to do it.
They take Christian to a competency hearing, trying to take away his title & money & lands. He fails. His aunt says she won't send him back to the madhouse if he marries some stupid young girl. Of course he agrees, but ends up running away at the wedding, taking Maddy with him.
This is where I started to hate Maddy. She is a self-righteous, narrow-minded, weak, stupid woman. Christian needs her help badly, but all she can do is condemn him for his past actions, criticize him for the way he lives, and try to get out of her decision to help him. She claims to love him, but she won't compromise one little bit on anything for him. She consistently tries to leave him, even after they are married-by her choice-while Christian stuggles with everything. He can barely speak or write, and he's lost his sense of self. But he does his best to deal.
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