“A visitor from her past jolts Laura Stewart into memories... some funny... some heart wrenching... but she needs to deal with all of them before she can open the door to allow her past to shape her future. A story starting in the present day, narrated by a woman who needs to retell her past before she can move on with her future. There is no fantastic underlying plot, just a simple retelling of events leading to the present day. Most of us will recognise the uncertainty of youth and the first flush of love.”
I think this might be the first review of a British book! How remiss of me!
This is not to say the UK doesn’t have a fantastic array of lesbian fiction, it is simply that it hasn’t been at the top of my list until now, however there will be more to come in the future.
"Why does it matter where the book is from?"
Well there is a wonderful sense of coming home when reading a book from England; the recognisable education system, the slang, the humour – oh the humour!
That is the real star quality of ‘Hearts and Flowers Border’, it's genuinely funny. The set up and the first half of the book are fantastic and then the emotional drama really kicks in.
This really is a story where you can relate to the emotional teenager, Laura, the hang ups, the embarrassing moments! Whether you’re a teenager now or looking back and cringing, it certainly hits home!
Written largely through flashback the story focuses on first love, loss and then overcoming that. Becoming stronger, moving on. But then BAM being thrown for a loop when that person comes back and the regression back to that teenager!
As it says on the tin (ok the blurb) there isn’t an in depth or twisty, turny plot with a whole array of supporting cast members who dive in and out pulling the story this way or that, it is a simple story. But aren’t they sometimes the best?
This novel’s strength is in the telling of the story, the voice of the narrator, the utterly relatable way that L.T.Smith drives the story forward. It is like reading a personal diary in some parts, but also like talking to your best friend, who knows you really well and has been through the same hard times as you.
I found it hard to say goodbye.
Overall ‘Hearts and Flowers Border’ is romantic, dark, funny and infinitely relatable, it is a definite recommended read.