Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review: The Seeds of a Daisy

By Melissa Amster

Given that I am a mother of a daughter (along with two sons), I’m definitely interested in a compelling mother and daughter story, especially one that I will want to share with my own mother afterward. I am pleased to say that The Seeds of a Daisy by Alison Caiola definitely fits the bill!

Lily Lockwood is an Emmy nominated actress on a popular medical drama series. Little does she know, but a real medical drama is about to take over her life. When her mother, famous author Daisy Lockwood, is the victim of a tragic car accident, Lily drops everything and rushes across the country to hold vigil at her bedside. Even with the help and support of close friends (minus her cheating boyfriend), Lily will have to make the most difficult decision of her life, without her mother’s guidance. When she finds Daisy’s diary, she learns things she never thought possible, bringing even more real-life drama her way.

The Seeds of a Daisy was definitely a page turner from start to finish. Even though Lily and I were nothing alike, I still felt a kinship with her. Alison Caiola’s writing style is very genuine and she tells it like it is, instead of weighing every paragraph down with descriptions. The times she added in more detail, it wasn’t overbearing and made people and places easier to visualize. She also added in a sense of mystery, as there were secrets from Daisy’s past. There were a lot of twists, including some that I never saw coming. A few were a bit more predictable, but there was a nice balance regardless. The characters were very well-written and seemed to jump off the pages. I loved the cohesiveness between Lily and all the friends she became close with through Daisy.

Of course, most debut novels will come with some issues to iron out and The Seeds of a Daisy is no exception. The biggest concern was with consistency errors. I wish this story had been run through another editor or proofreader before going to publication. There were many name and time inconsistencies throughout the novel. Although they didn’t detract from my enjoyment (not sure if that's the right word for such a sad and heartfelt story), they definitely stood out. I also felt that the cover was misleading. While I understand why she used it and the meaning behind it, I didn’t feel it was a good fit for this kind of story, as it made me think it was a young adult novel. Finally, there were some surreal parts of the story that seemed forced and somewhat far-fetched. I never had such experiences so I can’t be the judge of how they should be written out, but something just felt “off” during those parts.

Overall, I liked The Seeds of a Daisy enough to recommend it to my mother and to want to learn more about both Daisy and Lily’s stories. (I even participated in a live author chat to get more insight.) I’m definitely looking forward to a sequel, as there are some items that were left open-ended.

Movie cast suggestions:
Lily: Alexis Bledel
Daisy (adult): Julianne Moore
Donna: Marisa Tomei
Jamie: Trevor Donovan

Thanks to Alison Caiola for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Mila said...

looks like something I would enjoy--thanks for the thorough review.

Cresta McGowan said...

I wrote a very similar review of this book on my blog. The inconsistencies detracted from the story for me.