A JOURNEY TOWARD FULL-BLOOM — A REVIEW

elly

 

Elly Jordan is a funny, quirky, and delightful character who transformed this story of one woman’s journey through pain and disappointment into a whole new life and the joy of being Elly In Bloom.

Finding her husband in bed with another woman could seem like some kind of bad cliché, but this kind of thing does happen in real life.

I liked Elly’s story of driving away from that old life and starting a new one miles from her Georgia home to one in a St. Louis suburb, where she starts a flower shop. Her first best friend Kim helps support her emotionally on this journey. Other characters fill up the pages and kept me reading, like the gorgeous Isaac, who helped her feel beautiful again; and the deli owner Keith, who seems to be waiting in the wings for her.

I also liked that Elly, a bit on the plump side and a little klutzy, finds true enjoyment in food, designing, and her friends.

What I didn’t love was the one-dimensional character dubbed Snarky Teenager. At first the name was kind of funny, but ultimately, this character seemed like a caricature that depicted every stereotypical teen behavior: smirking, eye rolling, and furious texting. And the fact that she had no actual name annoyed me.

However, I did like finding out what would happen to Elly and her crew when they took on their biggest job ever. What price would Elly have to pay for accepting this job that would turn into her worst nightmare ever? What will Elly learn about herself in the process?

Despite the engaging parts of the story, the numerous editing/grammatical errors did interfere with my reading pleasure at times. Therefore, 3.5 stars. However, there were many reviewers who liked or even loved everything about this book, so potential readers should check out what they have to say.

THE INTERIOR LIFE OF A SOUTHERN FAMILY — A REVIEW

I first saw this movie years ago and loved it.

What I enjoy most about this film is how the sleepy, seemingly unchanged Southern way of life comes apart slowly for this family…and then comes together again in a new version.

The movie opens with scenes of moonlight on water, and from there, we are gifted with wonderful moments that spotlight a relaxed and comfortable way of life.

Youngest daughter Lucille seems like an old soul, taking care of her father after her mother leaves them unexpectedly. I get a sense of how she wants everything to stay the same and fights for the permanence of the life she has envisioned.

But none of the family members stay the same. The father, Warren (Albert Finney) gradually begins to move beyond the four walls of the old family home, perfectly portrayed with spreading verandas and live oak trees surrounding it. His new woman friend (Piper Laurie) is like a breath of fresh air.

Meanwhile, his wife Helen (Jill Clayburgh) has moved into an independent life, one that allows for change.

When oldest daughter Rae comes home with a new husband, and announces her pregnancy, another change is forced upon them all.

Another favorite scene is when Rae, her husband Billy, and Lucille go out to a night club owned by a friend (Alfre Woodard), and Rae gets up to sing. Her husband is stunned. He knew nothing about this version of Rae.

In fact, the themes of this film are all about change…and how, in spite of what any of them want, change is inevitable. And not necessarily a bad thing.

A feel-good movie that shows that change can bring a richness to life, in spite of one’s fears, Rich in Love is one I’ll enjoy watching over and over.

I especially loved Finney’s portrayal of Warren Odom, as well as Suzy Amis’s ability to inhabit the role of Rae Odom.