4 out of 4 stars
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A frame for flowers (the lower case letters are the choice of the author) by Sean Storin is a fiction novel about the life of Katie Kelley. The story is set in Boston and begins when Katie is 37 years old. Almost immediately, the story flashes back to Katie’s past. Katie lost both of her parents by the age of 18. She used the money from their estate to send her younger brother to school in New York. Katie was young and lonely when she first met Frank Bruno. His confidence was very comforting in the beginning. He helped Katie feel safe. However, his arrogance and rigidity became serious problems for Katie.
The story is mostly told from Katie’s point of view and chronicles her life in an abusive relationship. Everything comes to a head for Katie when she receives a very difficult cancer diagnosis at the age of 37. Flashback stories are common throughout this book and provide a lot of background information. These stories are sometimes in the voices of different characters and explain key points in each character’s journey. This provides a well-rounded story and allows the reader a clear understanding of the characters in the book.
I was quite taken with this book. The story was very well written. I felt like I was a part of the story and a part of the characters’ lives. Their home felt familiar and so did their neighborhood. I really enjoyed the main characters of Katie and her son, Anthony. I truly missed them when the book was over. I also really enjoyed getting to know their neighbor, Vida.
This book covers the difficult topics of abusive relationships and dealing with cancer. It does so with grace. It was a sad story but not maudlin. It made sense without making it feel too painful for the reader. It was easy to feel for and empathize with the characters but it wasn’t overwhelming. This was a book I couldn’t put down. No negatives came to mind when I read it. I will say that it does need one final round of editing to clean up the last of the typos and grammar errors.
I rate a frame for flowers 4 out of 4 stars. If it was possible, I would give it 3.75 out of 4 stars. The book itself was thoroughly enjoyable and very well done. It does, however, need a final edit. This was a book full of compassion and courage. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy life stories, stories about families, and especially stories of courage in the face of difficult life situations.
A Frame For Flowers
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