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Elly In Bloom by Colleen Oakes

Elly In Bloom (edition 2012)

by Colleen Oakes

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586204,058 (3.77)1
Title:Elly In Bloom
Authors:Colleen Oakes
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012), Paperback, 324 pages
Collections:Finished Reading
Tags:Chick Lit

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Elly In Bloom by Colleen Oakes



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I absolutely adored this book. I had picked it up as a free e-book a long while back and, because this purchase pre-dated my entrance into the world of smart-phone-ownership, it just sort of sat there. Now, I'm kicking myself for having waited so long to read Colleen Oakes' debut novel. (And for waiting so long to get a smart phone, but, that's a different story.)

Elly Jordan has picked up and left her life in Georgia behind after finding her artist husband, Aaron, in bed with another woman. Packing up her possessions and just driving, she finds herself in Clayton, Missouri, spilling her guts to a complete stranger in a cafe. That moment, in that cafe, is where Elly's life - and story - really begin.

As a character, Elly is refreshing and endearing. I found myself wishing on several occasions that she were a real person whom I could go track down and become friends with. She's the owner of Posies, a flower shop in Clayton, and I basked in the descriptions of the flowers and arrangements that are included in the novel. I found myself using Google many times to get a visual reference for the specific kind of flower the author described and wishing (for the umpteenth time) that I had a comprehensive pictorial flower dictionary in my possession. (Also that I could up and leave my job and work as a floral designer.)

I love, love, love that Elly is described as plus size - a size 16, in fact. And I love that she doesn't change her size throughout the story. So many authors want to give readers a plus size character who, through the magical redemptive power of love, sheds the excess weight and lives the rest of her life happy, loved, and thin. THANK YOU, Colleen Oakes, for not doing that. Thank you for writing a love story that shows that plus size women can be entrepreneurial, funny, witty, talented, and loved for who they are, as they are.

On several occasions, I found myself laughing out loud at the scenarios that Elly finds herself faced with: accidentally sitting in a chocolate fountain, getting lost in a winery's cellar, and constantly having to thwart her handsome musician boyfriend from groping her. I loved every scene and felt so connected to all of the characters - especially Elly. I can't wait to see how her story continues in the promised and forthcoming Elly in Love! ( )
  Jenna.Czaplewski | Jul 3, 2014 |
This is a chick-lit novel with a difference. The main female is not a skinny or beautiful and has more insecurities than some has-been selling their story to a gossip magazine. It starts a couple of years after she has left her cheating husband behind for a new life and opened up a florist. Her life is happily plodding along in recovery mode when she gets offered a wedding contract that would be the answer to her financial woes, only problem is the groom is someone from her past. The author shows Elly character develop through this crisis of conscience of whether to accept the gig and get over her past or run away again. ( )
  Daydreambooks | Jul 20, 2013 |
Elly In Bloom is a wonderful story of a girl's life who went thru self discovery and a life she so wanted to have for herself to live. Very fun and inspiring for all. Very well written and hat's off to Colleen! ( )
  MaryAnn12 | Apr 4, 2013 |
This book frustrated me on several levels. I don't necessarily think the writing is bad.. but the character development.. blargh.

I don't think much of a heroine who needs to have people help pick herself up everytime something does not go according to plan. For someone that runs her own business, this is a rather serious flaw. I did get tired of watching the heroine break down time & time again. Like many women, both in real life and literature.. her self worth seems to be tied in to her appearance. I know this phenomena isn't going away anytime soon, but one can hope I suppose.

Dating a guy for some months.. with the only intimacy allowed is kissing? I dunno. The author does show the guy getting frustrated, but backs down and lets the heroine steer the relationship. *My* own personal perception is that a lot of men would either get tired of this quickly or find something on the side so to speak. ( )
  Readsalot81 | Mar 30, 2013 |
When Elly Jordan catches her husband cheating, she packs her life up and leaves their home in Georgia to start over in St. Louis. Flowers are her passion, and when she has settled into her new life, she opens up Posies, a boutique florist shop catering to weddings. Life is going well for Elly, and just when she thinks she has moved on from her past, an extravagant wedding contract for a "wedding of the year event" for a person from her past puts everything into perspective, making Elly's journey of self-discovery come full circle.

Elly in Bloom is a heartwarming and enjoyable story about a woman whose journey of self-discovery comes full circle as she learns forgiveness, healing, and the ability to move on with her life. Author Colleen Oakes weaves an entertaining tale written in the third person narrative that follows the journey of thirty-two year old Elly Jordan as she moves on from a painful past into a second chance at a good life.

You can't help but love Elly, she is a realistic woman with flaws and normal life issues that the reader can relate to. Elly restarts her life with a new found independence that has some hilarious laugh-out-loud episodes of clumsiness, mishaps and bantering with her quirky friends, employees and customers. The author provides the reader with some really wonderful descriptions about St. Louis, weddings and the florist shop industry.

This story is a breath of fresh air, everyone can relate to Elly in some way, I think there is a little bit of her in each of us. Elly in Bloom is a delightful story that is thoroughly entertaining, and will give the reader a warm and fuzzy feeling and put a smile on their face.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.com/2013/03/elly-in-bloom-by-colleen-oakes... ( )
  JerseyGirlBookReview | Mar 27, 2013 |
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Surrounded by lush flowers and neurotic brides, 32-year old Elly Jordan has carved out a sweet little life for herself as the owner of Posies, a boutique wedding florist in St. Louis. It's not bad for a woman who drove away from her entire life just two years earlier when she found her husband entwined with a red-headed artist. Just when she feels that she is finally moving on from her past, she discovers that an extravagant wedding contract is more than she bargained for. Elly bravely agrees to take on the event that threatens to merge her painful history with her bright new life and finds herself blooming in a direction she never imagined.… (more)

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