Book Review: Rocks and Flowers in a Box by Cynthia Hilston

2020. A new year full of hope. If you’ve been put off by the thoughts of an impending WWIII or the crisis state of climate change, this is a book that will help you realize that all is not lost in life.

Goodreads Blurb

Rocks and Flowers in a Box by Cynthia Hilston

The wedding bells for Lorna and Tristan Blake toll doom right as the honeymoon begins with an unexpected turn in Tristan’s health. While World War II winds down, Lorna receives a letter from the War Department informing her that the brother she thought killed in action is still alive. She is overjoyed, but his return will dredge up a devastating secret about their parents’ tragic death –a secret that could destroy her new marriage and threaten her husband’s physical and mental well-being. What unfolds is balancing act of keeping the faith and shattering the pieces of the life she’s worked so hard to put back together.



This is a book about grief and hope and these emotions alternate throughout the book; the hope of a new start as husband and wife, the loss of losing a brother, the hope of seeing him again when it transpires he is still alive. Lorna’s emotions ride many a wave and so does the reader’s. But it is worth it. The touching moments of grief and hope are what makes Rocks and Flowers in a Box worth reading.

The relationship between Lorna and Tristan also makes Rocks and Flowers in a Box an interesting read. For me, it was because I was constantly trying to figure them out. I found Lorna to be a sweet character but I could never quite take to Tristan. I think I missed out on warming to their relationship by starting with the second book in the series rather than the first. Saying that, I could feel the love between them at times and that added to the sweetness of the story.

There is one thing that niggled at me though for Rocks and Flowers in a Box. It is marketed as a historical novel but in my opinion, it could have been set at any time. Yes, we do know that Lorna’s brother is fighting in WWII and there are some references to rations, but I couldn’t really tie the book to this one period in time. Being able to do that would have made for a stronger book, at least in my case.

Have you read the first book in the Lorna and Tristan series? Would I have benefitted from reading it first?

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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