What is this about?: Hazel is on holiday with her boyfriend, Jonny and his daughter Evie at a little hotel when a young girl goes missing and Hazel’s past comes out: she is Primrose, the younger sister of Laurel, and a Flower Girl – the girls who killed a young child decades ago.
What else is this about?: Pardon my french, but this is a slow burn mindf**k, that so subtly begins to direct the story into a different place entirely by the end .
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…
The Flower Girls is the kind of book that makes you marvel at the author’s subtle writing and infusing of malice into a story.
Who are Laurel and Primrose?
They are sisters, the Flower Girls. When Primrose was six, and Laurel about a year or two older, they took a young child into the woods and killed her. Laurel was arrested for Kirstie’s murder, while Primrose at 6 was thought to be too young to be capable of understanding anything that happened.
Laurel has been in prison for almost two decades, while Primrose and her parents were give new identities and tried to rebuild a life away from the press and the public eager to cause them harm.
What is this book about?
When the book opens, Hazel AKA Primrose, is on holiday with her boyfriend, Jonny and his daughter Evie. She is a woman who has spent her life flying under the radar, determined to deflect attention from herself because no-one must know who she really is. She loves Jonny, feels safe with him like she never has before and thinks just maybe they might find a life together.
Then a young toddler goes missing at the hotel and Hazel knows it’s just a matter of time before her past comes out. The thing is — she remembers nothing of what happened that fateful day. All she knows is that Laurel killed that child.
As she fears, her past comes to light, and she grows afraid of what’s going to happen to her — even though Georgie is found.
But, she has something else to worry about: someone has been sending her emails — someone who knows who she is, and what’s in her past and makes her fearful.
Thankfully she has a writer, Max, to guide her through this time, to help her navigate the press and the attention. Max of course sees her as his ticket to fame and fortune like the book he’s currently writing will never get him. He even convinces her to visit Laurel, the sister she hasn’t seen in years.
There are a couple of POVs in this, including a police who are trying to find out what happened to Georgie, as well as two timelines — the present and the past following Laurel as she is arrested and convicted. Usually all of this would be too much for me, and would drive me nuts, but this is exquisite writing and characterisation.
Alice Clark-Platts balances so many aspects of this plot, from the effects of the murder on Laurel and Primrose and their family to the effects on the victim’s family all these years later, as she takes readers’ on this journey towards the end of the sisters’ story. This is a book that will leave you with questions in the end, and make you feel uncomfortable that you don’t have the answers you think you want — but that’s the point of it, and I for one relished the ending.
Now here’s the thing: everything in this review is absolutely true. And it’s also a lie.
That’s how good this book is.