Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'The Light of Hidden Flowers,' A Novel by Jennifer Handford.
As her father’s searing memory begins to falter, Melissa tries to help as much as she can. When his clients also begin to notice the decline, trust also begins to falter. Leaving the more demanding tasks of the business to his closest partner, Melissa can only do her best to help her father through the ravages of Alzheimer’s. Becoming primary of the firm has never been her want, and yet it is thrust upon her when he passes.
When she finds a letter from him, meant to sooth her she is only further troubled for on one hand he praises her for being dutiful and yet he also scolds her for not taking risks. Unable to put his words aside, Melissa heads for Italy where she meets a young woman who suggests a very radical idea.
Melissa soon finds herself in India, searching for herself while putting together a plan of redemption and reconnecting with a lost love. Is her search really the answer to her father’s dream or her own? She must pursue her dreams and take the risks that have always felt so out of bounds. Can she overcome her insecurities and become the woman her father dreamed her to be, and can she come to terms with her own dismay at his words?
Handford takes us into the psyche of a young woman who has grown up in a sheltered world and been in the background of her father’s life, unwilling to move from the protection. When she is thrust from her comfort zone and forced to face the world on her own she must draw from within to find what she finally understands is missing. Yet she must deal with anger and pain, self-doubt and insecurity pushing her own internal boundaries.
The story of love, loss and growth is well written and grabs you from the beginning. You endure the heartache of the loss of a loved one and the journey of redemption. There is a great appeal to the reminder that we can follow our dreams, for it is never too late
If you enjoy contemporary fiction with threads of growth and loss, love and light, and an overall moral of determination you will find this a great work for your library. The beauty of thought leaves you searching your own dreams.
This would be a great look for a Book Club or reading group. The idealism and questions garnered would create solid dialogue.