Last week I read the novel, The Forgetting Flower, by Karen Hugg. The premise is really interesting. Renia Baranezka and her twin sister have loved plants and flowers their whole life. Growing up in Krakow, they dream of one day living in Paris. Prior to the beginning of the book Renia’s sister, Estera’s, boss – an old rich guy – crossbred some flowers to create a one of a kind, but dangerous plant called Violet Smoke. The scent of the flower has the ability to put people to sleep and cause temporary amnesia allowing for people in the know to erase memories and plant new ones in people.
Estera gets involved with a bad boyfriend and dangerous people who want to use the plant for their own gains causing a lot of trouble. The story begins a year later with Renia living in Paris, managing a florist shop, and hiding the Violet Smoke.
Struggling to survive and make money, Renia is tempted to use the flower to make money especially when her Polish past comes to Paris to catch up with her.
I found the book to be really interesting and I wanted to see how it would all turn out, but at times I had trouble figuring out what the overall point of the story was. Renia struggles with whether to turn the plant over to professional botanists who want to study this unique plant or continue to sell off flowers to criminals for their less than innocent purposes. Was Renia trying to do the right thing or trying to make money? I think her not being able to decide what to do was a little frustrating from a reader’s point of view. I understand the struggle, but I wanted her to pick a side instead of spending the majority of the book on the fence.
By the end, I was invested in the characters though and I felt they redeemed themselves, as frustrated as I was with them for parts of the novel. The Forgetting Flower is the first book in the Botanique Noire trilogy and I’d be really interested to see what happens to some of these characters!
*I was sent this book complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.*