The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts.
When I read the initial synopsis of the book I was so intrigued I popped it straight on my list of books I wanted for my birthday. Low and behold the book fairy (aka my mum) granted my bookish wishes and brought me the books I wanted, and low and behold among them was ‘The Flower Girls’. The Synopsis:
YOU’LL NEVER FORGET THE FLOWER GIRLS
The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.
One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.
Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.
And The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…
This books intrigued me and so I set off reading only to spiral out into a deep well of disappointment and a longing for more. I don’t usually write ‘review’ style posts about books I usually just write a few thoughts about things about the plot. I am not one to critique books, I wouldn’t want to tell you how much I disliked something, for that to influence anyone reading it, and them miss out on a book they may have enjoyed. But this book was not what I hoped it would be and I don’t have many good things to say so I guess there is a first for everything.
I gave this book a two star rating on Goodreads despite it’s thought provoking stance about children who commit crimes. And, credit where it is due, this book does open the conversation up about child sentences and the length of them. It also calls into question the age limit to children who are eligible to stand trial. Unfortunately, I can’t say many more good things from here.
This book has a very messy opening, it was difficult to follow along. It took me a long while to establish who each of the characters were and further, take note of their relationships with the other characters. The main plot however, follows the story of two girls, Laurel and Primrose (also known as Rosie). These two girls have their lives flipped upside down and the ages of 10 and 6 when they are tried for the murder of a young baby. Well only Laurel, the 10 year old is, as Rosie is deemed unaccountable for her actions because of her age. Although she also can not remember what happened and therefore can not be questioned anyway. Therefore, Laurel is sent to do prison time and Rosie is given a new identity alongside her parents to carry on living out her life. Without giving the plot away this is the main story line though often it becomes jumbled up among unnecessary characters who are not introduced properly and story lines.
The plot then jumps to the modern day, and often it becomes not one but two difficult storylines to follow because the whole book jumps around making it incredibly difficult to enjoy. This book did nothing but leave me wanting more. Constantly, whilst reading this book I was craving more information, more clues, more storyline to accommodate the intriguing synopsis that I once jumped at. However, unfortunately for me, this book didn’t give me the compelling plot I so wished it would, instead giving me a rushed and unsatisfyingly predictable ending.
This book had so much promise and I enjoyed the concept so much. It could have played out so differently but alongside the un-thought-out structure the constant momentos to other child murderers throughout made it uncomfortable read. I wished there was less characters and further focus on the main characters allowing them to be better developed so that as a reader you could warm to them and enjoy following the story of the infamous ‘Flower Girls’. I would have also appreciated a little backstory knowledge as often the parents of the Flower Girls are mentioned, her mum playing a large role in the circumstances of the book, though I can’t tell you why- not because it is a spoiler, but because I am still unsure. It isn’t actually explained properly.
It is true however, I won’t forget the ‘Flower Girls’, I just will remember them for all the wrong reasons and as a disappointing a very predictable read.