Wallflower in Bloom: A Novel by Claire Cook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Goodreads: From the acclaimed bestselling author of Must Love Dogs comes a winning and witty new novel about a woman who emerges from the shadow of her overbearing family and finds herself “dancing with the stars.” Deirdre Griffin has a great life; it’s just not her own. She’s the around-the-clock personal assistant to her charismatic, high-maintenance, New Age guru brother, Tag. As the family wallflower, her only worth seems to be as gatekeeper to Tag at his New England seaside compound. Then Deirdre’s sometime boyfriend informs her that he is marrying another woman, who just happens to be having the baby he told Deirdre he never wanted. While drowning her sorrows in Tag’s expensive vodka, Deirdre decides to use his massive online following to get herself voted on as a last-minute Dancing with the Stars replacement. It’ll get her back in shape, mentally and physically. It might even get her a life of her own. Deirdre’s fifteen minutes of fame have begun. Irresistible and offbeat, Wallflower in Bloom is an original and deeply satisfying story of having the courage to take a leap into the spotlight, no matter where you land.
My thoughts: Why have I not read Claire Cook's books before? Why is she not be best friend?
The protagonist, Deirdre Griffin, has third child syndrome. She has a golden child oldest brother, a perfect and outgoing older sister, and the adorable little sister referred to and called throughout the book "Joanie Baloney." If a caboose child had been added to this family, I might have related a little bit better. Still, she has the third child syndrome down pat. She's overlooked, feelings get hurt, feels overshadowed by not only her rock star type brother but the other sibs, too. With a small breakdown, she makes a rash decision and finds herself Dancing With the Stars!
One complaint about the story - Deirdre does a dance turn in the hotel. Because she is allowing her inner dancer to shine! Cook ignored Murphy's law. When MY FRIEND was singing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and dancing a groovy move, she did it while waiting for the elevator which opened when her back was turned. This resulted in MY FRIEND turning during a groovy move, seeing the shocked faces in the elevator, and moonwalking out of their eye sight. Nobody saw Deirdre pirouette. That's just sad.
Why I loved the book was the quirky but relatable family members, the relationships, the protagonist who is an epic third child, and the humor. I loved to read this one! I can't wait for the next Cook book!
*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.