Divining Daisy, by Elaine Watkins is a 178 page novel that boldly delivers a message of healing and redemption. More than a story about a woman and her garden, and more than a love story or family saga, it is a brilliant work of fiction that uses flowers, humor, and friendship to shine a gentle light into the shadowy recesses of the human psyche.
Daisy is a lovable protagonist with her unabashed reverence for Shirley Chisholm, self deprecating humor, and humble strength. She's determined to maintain the recent positive changes in her life, including significant weight loss and the beginning of her very own flower business, but not without contending with unexpected challenges along the way. Acceptance proves to be the toughest hurdle of all, as she struggles to see her own beauty as well as the true nature of her most precious relationships. Thanks to her jealous best friend, protective family, twice divorced ex boss, and the mysterious Roc, Daisy must learn to overcome self doubt and face a dark secret that has haunted her for most of her life.
What I love most about this story is the realistic evolution that takes place among the relatable cast of characters: some persevere and grow while others stumble headlong over their own mental limits. Watkins orchestrates their development with the precision of one who keenly understands the way our minds can fool us, and how our past can ruin our future if we let it. The positive message of self love is delivered without cheesy cliché and remains the central theme throughout each engaging twist of the plot.
With charming, witty prose, the author skillfully tempers emotionally charged drama with sun dappled moments of comic relief. The playful dialogue and bright imagery of Daisy's garden give the story an uplifting feel that makes the dark revelation in the last third of the book more shocking and yet more palatable. The jarring climax is gritty, but offers a touching and satisfying end without subscribing to an impossible standard of "Happily Ever After".I would recommend this book to a wide audience, from the casual poolside reader to those searching for deeper, spiritual fulfillment. Divining Daisy is a well written piece that truly does have something for almost everyone. I can't wait until it's published. And as usual I promise to let you know as soon as it is available!