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Ella in Bloom


Ella in Bloom

seems like a heroine in a Joni Mitchell song --- she makes up a
world of rose cultivation and linen dresses to impress her
socially-aware mother back home and buys clothes at a thrift store
for herself and her daughter in order to fool the family when they
go to visit. But after a disastrous attempt at reconciliation
following the freak death of her sister, Ella starts to literally
"bloom." She learns that what she is is a good person, not some
perfected mirror image of her mother. She learns a lesson from her
intelligent and caring daughter and ends up as ELLA IN
There are many stories out there about the power of one's
family's expectations on the person one becomes in later life, but
rarely do they offer such a shattering and yet utterly readable
portrayal of one woman's growth. Unlike the flash-in-the-pan
heroines of many single-girls-in-the-city stories popular in
contemporary novels, ELLA IN BLOOM gives us a woman who is flawed
and full of fault but who catches on to the right path eventually,
while the fake rose-covered walls around her are torn down one by
Hearon, a veteran novelist of some 15-plus books, is so tuned
into the heart of her heroine that Ella seems like the desperate
yet somehow together next-door neighbor any of us could be living
alongside of these days. With a provocative cover and a smooth
writing style, ELLA IN BLOOM is a wonderful book about the magic
that happens when we learn to accept ourselves.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on January 21, 2011

Ella in Bloom
by Shelby Hearon

  • Publication Date: January 2, 2001
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
  • ISBN-10: 0375410384
  • ISBN-13: 9780375410383