The Flower Girls Book Review
I don’t think I’ve felt this strongly or felt as much while reading for a long time as I have with this book. I’ve been a slow and slumping reader and I sped through this book because it was just AMAZING. I’m not usually one to pick up Adult Mystery/Psychological Thrillers, although I love them when done well, and in this case, Alice Clark-Platts smashed it out of the park.
YOU’LL NEVER FORGET THE FLOWER GIRLS
The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.
One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.
Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.
And The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…
Let’s try and put this into words instead of screams, shall we?
Yes, that blurb is very very vague and that’s because this story is so full of important factors that could lead to spoilers. It’s hard to explain the plot without giving too much away but you know I’m gonna give it a good old try.
The Flower Girls is based around a horrible crime where a toddler was tortured and killed by not just any person but suspected to be by two young girls. Laurel and Primrose. Laurel, being the eldest was convicted and sentenced to prison indefinitely and Primrose was given a new identity with her parents because she wasn’t old enough to be put on trial, and their case became infamous – basically viral with the press at the time. Everybody knows about the Flower Girls and it’s hard to forget such an unforgivable crime, a crime taken out by a child no less.
It’s been 19 years and Primrose, whose identity has now been Hazel since the scandal is at a hotel with her boyfriend to celebrate her birthday when coincidentally another toddler goes missing. Throughout the book, we’re introduced to many other characters that are equally as important as Hazel’s – multiple points of views and I would say they’re all protagonists.
We get taken through a detective’s view who is working in the investigation for finding this missing toddler, as well as the point of view of the murdered toddler’s aunt who has been fighting for justice for 19 years, to make sure Laurel stays behind bars. We’re also introduced to a writer who happens to be in the right place at the right time with hopes to make his big career break with this scandal brought back into the spotlight and the political and media drama that ensues.
“People judge when they don’t know any different, when they’re only given one story they can latch on to.”
– Alice Clark-Platts
I cannot explain how good this book was, the writing was phenomenal. Each chapter was relatively short and sweet, the writing was easy to read with great cohesion and as I read it, I slowly got more on the edge. You think you can guess what’s actually happened but really you can’t. The suspense is unreal and slowly unravelled, the blurb was absolutely right that I’ll never forget the Flower Girls because this was undeniably genius.
What also struck a huge chord was that the mystery of finding the toddler and finding out the various truths I won’t mention (cause MAJOR spoilers) wasn’t the biggest themes in this book at all. This novel explored even more, including the reality of how a crime like this could have happened, how the media lies and changes people and the importance of not necessarily forgiveness but letting go.
“There must be some happiness we can have, mustn’t there? Waiting for us in the future or even here now. Where we’re not always fighting.”
– Alice Clark-Platts
Clark-Platts created these characters expertly and really dove deep into this contemporary world where the Flower Girls have created such an impact in history as one of the most horrific crimes. Each character was its own individual personality with vivid backstories and hooked you right in with how they all connected and surrounded the facts of the initial crime.
All the characters were real but also extremely unreliable. Until you get to the end of the book, you can’t trust them or really figure out who has done what and when. This unreliability in these third-person narrators is even more interesting because you’re not actually sure whether they have any credibility, whether they are untrustworthy or not until the end either. Meaning, the plot twists were seriously shocking and surprising, and irrevocably well planned.
This book has changed me.
Okay, it hasn’t really, but it was amazing. My SO was actually laughing and frankly, I’m sure he was quite bewildered because I kept yelling at this book while reading it, especially during those last 50 pages where the plot twists just kept coming at me.
I can’t explain how much I loved this book and I’m so happy to say that this is definitely one of my favourite books of all time in this genre. I did not expect to enjoy this one so much, a MASSIVE thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing for sending this book to me out of the blue in exchange for an honest review.
I can’t imagine not having read this now, and I seriously highly recommend it!
Do you like to read mystery and psychological thriller books?
If you were a Flower Girl, what would be your name? I feel like I’d get a funky name like Begonia 😛
As always, let me know if you read this one and all of your thoughts.
Until next time,