Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Florist's Daughter

Sorry for the lack of posting. Too much work and winter sickness has kept me from reading anything this past week. But I started The Florist's Daughter, by St. Paul author Patricia Hampl, this morning. I've never read Hampl's work before (which is probably a disgrace for a writer from the Twin Cities) so I'm excited to get going on this one. Here's the synopsis from B&N online:

From Patricia Hampl, the author of Blue Arabesque, comes this thoughtful and affecting memoir, a meditation on the death of her parents. As Patricia holds on to her dying mother's hand with one hand, she begins to write her obituary with the other. "She would have expected nothing less," Patricia explains. "For the dutiful writer-daughter scribbling in the half-light, holding the dying hand while hitting the high points of her subject’s allegedly ordinary life that is finally going to see print."

From here, Patricia reflects on growing up middle class as the daughter of a florist and his wife in St. Paul, Minnesota. Whereas her father, a true artist, was obsessive about his flower arrangements, he was also inattentive to the outside world. She recounts the Midwestern values he clung to, even as he was losing his business to cheats. She also begins to understand how her mother, the feisty and distrustful daughter of Czech immigrants with an uncanny ability to tell a good story, almost lost her mind fighting their enemy.

The Florist's Daughter, Hampl once again exhibits her ability to capture the complexity and depth of her subjects, suggesting that what is most personal, can also be most elusive.

1 comment:

willikat said...

i have a romantic education by her. sooooo good!