Like A Flower In Bloom
In 1852, England, Charlotte Withersby lives a peaceful life with her botanist father. She cares little for convention, for “coming out,” or for thoughts of marriage. Charlotte is much happier roaming the fields, looking for specimens, and working on her illustrations. She helps her father with his work and dreams of one day publishing her own books. Her uncle, however, has other ideas. Convinced that Charlotte needs to become a wife and mother, he takes control. Charlotte is thrust into polite society, forced to wear fashionable attire, and attend soirees and teas. To make matters worse, Charlotte’s father has hired a replacement assistant, Edward Trimble, who seems to be doing a better job than she ever did. He also has the audacity to make suggestions about her clothing, manners, and behavior.
Charlotte, with a newfound friend, deviously plots ways to trip Trimble up and gain her position back. Her schemes misfire, though, and she winds up engaged to two men at the same time – neither of whom she even likes!
Mitchell again delights with a well-researched and plotted story that’s also lighthearted and fun. It’s obvious from the start what will happen, but even so, it’s enjoyable to see just how it would all work out. While the main character, Charlotte, takes a really long time learning her lesson, she is still a spunky, endearing heroine. This story will be of great interest to gardening buffs, as there is a lot of time spent discussing botany and the different flora in the area. Like all Mitchell stories, this one comes highly recommended.