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February 22, 2021

Flowers of Darkness by Tatiana de Rosnay ~ a Review

 by Susan Roberts

"She explained that she had never lived alone.  She had to feel good within a home, not only to write there but to live there , as well.  She was looking for an apartment that could be sort of a shelter.  A haven that would keep her safe, that would protect her." (loc 251)

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Flowers of Darkness
February 2021; St. Martin's; 978-1250272553
audio, ebook, print (256 pages); dystopian
Flowers of Darkness
is a novel set in Paris - not the Paris that we know but a future Paris where terrorists have destroyed the Eiffel Tower and altered the city beyond recognition.  Paris is very different now as is most of Europe due to terrorist destruction of Big Ben in London, the Piazza San Marco in Venice, and the Sistine Chapel. Yet people's lives, though changed, continue to go on with many of the same problems.

Clarissa, a 50ish writer, has just left her second husband and is looking for somewhere to live.  She is excited to be accepted by CASA,  a brand new artist residency in an ultra-modern apartment, with a view of all of Paris.  In her new apartment, Clarissa has a virtual personal assistant to take care of her and the promised tranquility to write her new book.  However, she begins to feel that something is wrong with the apartment as she hears strange noises and begins to feel that she is being watched all the time.  Interspersed with Clarissa's plan to find out what is really going on in the apartment two other main factors in her life come to light - the story of how Clarissa's husband betrayed her and her beautiful relationship with her daughter, Jordan, and her 15-year-old granddaughter, Andy.

The novel is beautifully written and the story comes to light very slowly - almost dreamlike as it unfolds.  The main character is well written and we feel all of her pain and sadness with her life after leaving her husband.  The main theme of the novel is artificial intelligence and how it can and will change our lives in the future and affect something precious to all of us -- our privacy.

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Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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