Title: The Last Camellia
Author: Sarah Jio
Publisher: Plume 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Read My Own Damn Books; Popsugar - Murder Mystery; Women Authors
On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes.
More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple’s shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener’s notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?
Our book club selection for September and a book that's been on my shelf for awhile. This was such a quick read for me. I think it took me a total of 3 days to read and I wasn't spending that much time reading. I quickly fell into the story wanting to know what happened to Flora and what would happen to Addison. The back and forth between the two time periods worked just fine. I was intrigued by the botany and the big mystery of the camellia. I loved the side characters in the historical sections especially the children. I also love that the manor seemed to become another character in the story. With all these good things, there were a few elements that bugged me. I didn't feel very connected to Addison at all. Her backstory bugged me. And I definitely didn't really see the relationship between her and Rex. It just wasn't that well developed. And the ending on Addison's side was super rushed and weird. Not satisfying at all.