From a cottage in the English countryside in the year 1803, to a manor house in England in the 1940s, a rare and unique camellia takes center stage in a mystery and a journey. And in New York at the New Millennium, a botanist named Addison Sinclair finds herself on her own journey to learn more about the gardens in that same manor house now belonging to her husband’s family.
The Last Camellia: A Novel sweeps across the years to tell the story and to introduce the reader to the families whose gardens feature the exquisite flower. And despite the lovely rare blooms, or sometimes because of them, we also see the sadness, the loss, and the betrayals that surround them all. Narrated in the first person voice of Flora, in 1940, and Addison, in 2000, the shifting perspective brought out each woman’s story very effectively.
What lengths would flower thieves go to in order to obtain a rare camellia called the Middlebury Pink? How does a woman named Flora, trying to save her parents in New York, become mixed up in a plot to steal the flower? And how will love and family connections change the course of her life? Will she be one of a group of women who mysteriously disappears and never returns?
There were a number of curious incidences and unanswered questions that finally came together near the end of the story. Some seemingly isolated threads converged to bring out a mystical connection between the characters. An unforgettable story that I enjoyed thoroughly, although there were a few extraneous episodes that seemed unnecessary. Therefore, four stars.