Rating: ★★★ + .5 | 533 Pages | Avon Books | Historical Romance | 1/1/1992
I feel like there a several l seminal romance novels that I’ve leanred about in my adventures in romancelandia, and one of the big ones is Flower From The Storm,
published in 1992 and proclaimed one of the world’s “most cherished” loves stories.
Jervaulx is a mathemaically gifted
but indulgent rogue who suffers a brain hemorrhage that impairs his speech and
movement. Consumed by anger and violence he is sent off to an asylum to
be forgotten. The only one who seems to notice the humanity that is still in him
is Maddy Timms, a devout Quaker whose religious convictions, inspire her to save
him at any cost . It’s the ultimate redemption story that I can see
having mass appeal, I think Maddy’s ability to see more than what th book sees as Jervaulx’s disability, iswhat propels this book to the top of many favorites list.
In what I can only assume was daring at the time, Kinsale
writes Jervaulx POV from the POV of someone who has suffered a brain hemorrhage,
creating what could be seen as an unreliable narrator. When other characters
speak the dialogue is written as gibberish and it allow readers to feel the frustration
that Jervaulx deals with on a daily basis. In the future I can’t wait to check
out the audiobook and see how Nicholas Boulton narrates this.
I think it’s worth noting that this romance has an Alpha
hero—a Duke at that–who has essentially lost all his agency. He becomes
dependent on Maddy and relies on her to help him escape the ssylum and prove to
the world he’s not a madman.
With that said I did have an issue with about 20% of this book, because as Jervaulx fights
to prove his worth, I feel like Maddy’s identity got
lost. In the end she gives up all of her convictions in service of Jervaulx,
some of which she is tricked into doing. And while the ending was dramatic and
bough the story full circle, I don’t
think Jervaulx gave up as much as Maddy in pursuit of his own redemption.
I found the addition of Jervaulx’s friends (including a lazy
churlish vicar and reliable military man) provided some much needed humor. Do
they seriously not get books ? Inquiring minds.
There is something about older roances that give them a different tone from
modern ones. The dialogue felt more drenched in colloquiliams, most of which I
understood thanks to context clues. I was afraid the use of Quaker Plain Speech
was going to make this difficult to read but it flows nicely.
- The Lore Podcast on the history mental health hospitals feels apropos.
- What is Laura Kinsale doing that she has only written 12 books in 25 years ?