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The Secret Sense of Wildflower by Susan Gabriel Review

Title: The Secret Sense of Wildflower

Author: Susan Gabriel

First published January 1, 2012

210 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780983588238 (ISBN10: 0983588236)

Rating: 4.12


The Secret Sense of Wildflower by Susan Gabriel is an unforgettable tale set in the 1940s Appalachia. Louisa May, affectionately known as Wildflower, is struggling to come to terms with the death of her father in a sawmill accident.

With her mother lost in grief, Wildflower and her sisters must navigate daily survival alone. But Wildflower’s resilience is unwavering, fueled by her love for the land, her sense of humor, and her deep questioning of God.

When the town’s troublemaker, Johnny Monroe, sets his sights on Wildflower, she must rely on the strength of her living and deceased relations to protect herself. Gabriel’s prose is a vivid and colorful tribute to the American South, brimming with energy, humor, and hope.

The Secret Sense of Wildflower is a powerful and poignant novel that establishes Gabriel as a thoughtful and powerful Southern writer. Kirkus Reviews calls it a “quietly powerful story, at times harrowing but ultimately a joy to read.”

About the Author

Meet Susan Gabriel – a celebrated author from the southern region of the United States. She resides in the serene mountains of Western North Carolina, where she finds inspiration for her literary works.

Her novels, The Secret Sense of Wildflower, which was rated as the Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews, and Temple Secrets (2015), have both earned the coveted spots of Amazon and Nook’s bestsellers.

To learn more about Susan Gabriel and her other notable works, you can visit her website at www.SusanGabriel.com. If you wish to reach out to her, the easiest way is through her Facebook author page.

Editoral Review

The Secret Sense of Wildflower by Susan Gabriel is a beautifully written novel that captures the essence of the human spirit and the power of healing. Gabriel is a talented author who has a gift for storytelling and a deep understanding of the complexities of human relationships.

Published on January 1, 2012, this book is a work of historical fiction that explores the themes of family, love, loss, and redemption.

The story takes place in the 1940s in the rural town of West Virginia, where thirteen-year-old Louisa May “Wildflower” McAllister lives with her mentally ill mother and her abusive father. Despite the challenges she faces, Wildflower finds solace in her love for nature and her friendship with a mysterious old woman named Miss Crissy.

When tragedy strikes, Wildflower is forced to confront her past and the secrets that have been hidden from her.

Gabriel’s writing style is poetic and lyrical, and she creates a vivid and immersive setting that transports the reader to a different time and place. The characters in the novel are well-developed and complex, and the relationships between them are nuanced and realistic.

Wildflower is a particularly compelling protagonist, and the reader can’t help but root for her as she navigates the challenges of her difficult life.

One of the strengths of The Secret Sense of Wildflower is its exploration of mental illness and the impact it has on families. Gabriel handles this topic with sensitivity and compassion, and she portrays the complex emotions and dynamics that exist within families dealing with mental illness.

The novel also touches on themes of racial inequality and social justice, adding depth and complexity to the story.

However, there are some weaknesses in the novel. The pacing is slow at times, and the plot can feel meandering.

Additionally, some of the secondary characters are not as well-developed as Wildflower, and their motivations and actions can feel unclear.

Despite these flaws, The Secret Sense of Wildflower is a powerful and moving novel that will resonate with readers who appreciate richly drawn characters and beautiful prose. Gabriel’s exploration of the human experience is both poignant and insightful, and her message of hope and healing is a welcome reminder in these troubled times.

Overall, I would highly recommend The Secret Sense of Wildflower to fans of historical fiction and literary fiction. It is a thoughtful and thought-provoking novel that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

I would give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, based on its strong writing, compelling characters, and powerful themes.