Earlier this spring, I downloaded a copy of the book, The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper, to my kindle. I really didn’t know much about it beyond the description that Amazon includes from the publisher—
“Sisters Rose and Lily Martin were inseparable when growing up on their family’s Kentucky flower farm yet became distant as adults when Lily found herself unable to deal with the demands of Rose’s unusual daughter. But when Rose becomes ill, Lily is forced to return to the farm and to confront the fears that had driven her away.”
I was blown away by this book. I loved it so much, and I think about it often, even months later. The first part of the book was so beautifully sad; I sobbed through a lot of it. That being said, I just couldn’t put the book down. I loved the way she wrote about the sister’s lives and their relationship (past and present). Having a sister of my own, I thought that the way the author wrote about the sisters was spot on. She obviously wrote from a depth of experience that made it true and apt. It also made me love and appreciate my sister that much more.
I thought that the way she wrote about the relationships between Lily, Rose, Will, Seth, and Antoinette was very realistic and well captured. I don’t have a lot of experience with autistic children, but the way she brought the reader into the world of Antoinette was well done. I appreciated Antoinette for all her complicated and sweet and loving and challenging characteristics; she seemed so real that I couldn’t help but love her.
I also really enjoyed the way the author wove the meanings of flowers into the story. It was a unique aspect that made the story interesting and special.
So, if you have a chance, I would highly recommend The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin to you. It is a story with a depth of emotion I haven’t come across in a long time. In addition to that, it is beautifully written and reflective of this complicated life that we live with its beauty, sorrow, challenges, and joys.