Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 Stars)
Violet loves visiting her Aunt Abigail’s flower shop. But one day when a mysterious woman comes to visit, Aunt Abigail suddenly has to leave on an overnight trip…meaning Violet isn’t able to stay with her for the day! Yet, Violet’s own imagination is going wild: who was the strange woman? Why was Aunt Abigail going to Scotland of all places in the middle of winter? And what is the strange yellow book with magical flowers doing behind Aunt Abigail’s mirror?
Violet, with her friends Jack and Zack, uncovers Aunt Abigail’s magical secret, begins to uncover the magical properties of the flowers in the shop. In an endearing story about making mistakes and doing what’s right, this is a tale that all ages will enjoy!
Quite frankly, I picked up this story as a freebee on Audible. I love to listen to children’s books and middle-grade novels on Audible. There is something about them that brings me back to a simpler time. So, it is fair to note that I am not the ideal audience for this book. While it was adorable, and I enjoyed the narration, there was one element of the story that didn’t feel quite right. Children won’t notice this issue, and for the most part it can be overlooked.
So as a fair warning…there are spoilers below!
There’s a part in the middle of this children’s story that didn’t sit right with me. Violet and her friends receive a flower order from their school teacher (named “Mr. Bachelor”) for Ms. Hedgehog (another teacher at the school). They decide to “help” their teacher out by putting a love potion in the flowers. That’s all well and good, sort of…not really, but then another man switches out the flowers after Vilet leaves them on Ms. Hedgehog’s doorstep (though he probably didn’t know about the love potion). Ms. Hedgehog is initially repulsed by this new man, but upon sniffing the flowers, she “falls in love with him” and invites him into her house.
So it’s not just a mild love potion, but an implied intimate moment that is further signified by the fact that this man is wearing Ms. Hedgehog’s robe when Violet and her friends stop by again.
Basically, it came off to me as a little bit of an uncomfortable scenario, especially for a children’s book. While children might think of this as a funny moment, all I found myself thinking was: “Poor Ms. Hedgehog.”
If you can get past that, the story overall is cute though, which is why I am still giving this 3 out of 5 stars, especially since I was not the target audience. Violet is a curious and precocious child, and there is a clear air of magic in the flower shop.
Children will be yearning for more by the end of it, especially to see if Violet ever learns about her magical past!
What’s it about?
Nine-year-old Violet loves spending time in her Aunt Abigail’s flower shop in their small British town. And she’s so excited to stay overnight with her Aunt Abigail for the first time! But when Aunt Abigail has to leave to deal with an emergency, Violet and her friends, twins Jack and Zack, start poking around – and discover that her aunt owns an ancient magical flower book and uses her flower magic to make people happy!
Violet wants to do that, too. Her first mission: making a match between two of her teachers. Unfortunately, it all goes wrong! Until Aunt Abigail comes to the rescue, that is. It’s not long until Violet finds another opportunity to test out some magic: helping her classmate Fiorella, who’s deeply unhappy even though she’s an amazing piano player. Can Violet help Fiorella stand up for what she wants? Or is there more magical mayhem in store?