Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

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Flowers from the Storm is a Regency-era romance novel written by Laura Kinsale. This book was mentioned in one of my book groups, so I was very excited when it popped up as part of an Audible sale.

The Duke of Jervaulx (pronounced Che-vaux with a soft c) is a dissolute rake, but he is also a brilliant mathematician. It is through this surprising hobby that he encounters Maddy Timms (real name Archimedia), who is the daughter of the Quaker gentleman he is collaborating with.

Maddy has a relatively low opinion of Christian, but she is still saddened when she hears that he has died in a duel. Needless to say, she is shocked beyond belief when she encounters Christian when visiting her uncle’s sanitarium. He has not died, but he has suffered a catastrophic event that has robbed him of the ability to speak. Christian has been reduced to an almost feral state, but Maddy has a calming effect on him. It is far from proper, but Maddy takes on much of the responsibility of caring for Christian, and slowly but surely, he begins to recover. But what future could there possibly be for a dissolute duke and a Quaker girl?

I went back and forth with this book. Christian was often annoyed with Maddy’s indecisiveness, and so was I. I can empathize with her for placing her salvation above all else, but at the same time, sometimes a life or death decision needed to be made. This certainly added to the tension factor, but it’s clear that their love is enduring, and by the end of the book, I was absolutely sobbing in the car as I listened to my audiobook.

I would absolutely recommend Flowers from the Storm. This is a tale of love and redemption, and truly one of the most unique romances I have ever had the privilege to read. If possible, I would especially recommend the audio edition of this book; much of the book deals with Christian’s recovering his speech, and the audiobook does a beautiful job of showcasing this slow and laborious process. This book was first published over twenty-five years ago, but it has aged wonderfully. I have to admit that this is the first book by Kinsale that I have ever read, but I am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

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