Rocks and Flowers in a Box (Lorna & Tristan #2) by Cynthia Hilston

Published December 21st 2019

Genre: Literary fiction / historical romance

Synopsis: The wedding bells for Lorna and Tristan Blake toll doom right as the honeymoon begins with an unexpected turn in Tristan’s health. While World War II winds down, Lorna receives a letter from the War Department informing her that the brother she thought killed in action is still alive. She is overjoyed, but his return will dredge up a devastating secret about their parents’ tragic death –a secret that could destroy her new marriage and threaten her husband’s physical and mental well-being. What unfolds is balancing act of keeping the faith and shattering the pieces of the life she’s worked so hard to put back together.

4 Stars: 

I don’t usually start my reviews with something I don’t like about a book, but I think this is really important. The cover of this book does not do this story justice, in fact, if I had not recently read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it, I probably would not have read this book at all based on the cover. Please do not judge this book by the cover because once I opened this one up and read it, I really enjoyed it. You do not have to read the first book about Lorna & Tristan to enjoy this one or to follow the story, but I do recommend you read both of these books as it is a well-written family saga. I am not exactly sure how I would classify this book, it is historical, a family drama and literary fiction all rolled together.

I am not going to regurgitate the synopsis of this book but I will tell you what I loved about this book. The characters were wonderful and so realistic. I cannot imagine what Chuck was dealing with after returning from WWII. Not only did he spend time in a POW camp, but was living with survivor guilt that his friend had died while he was still alive. He also came home to find out that his sister had destroyed everything that would remind him of his parents, who had been killed by a drunk driver six years earlier, including selling their childhood home and burning all the pictures. Lorna/Laura grew so much as a character throughout both of the books. She changed from a surly, angry, solitary person to a loving, forgiving, friend. Tristan as well, changed drastically. He was somewhat self-absorbed, closed, not very talkative, angry and having a tough time forgiving himself, but with Lorna’s love, he blossomed. The story was very well-written and shared so much about the 40s. I enjoyed learning about some of the rationing, which I was not sure had occurred in North America. My emotions were all over the place while I read this story. It dealt with so much, alcoholism, PTSD, forgiveness, veterans finding their way in life, moving beyond hatred, giving others a chance, and families. I definitely recommend that you give Cynthia Hilston a chance. I will be watching for more books from this author. I received a copy of this book from Rachel’s Random Resources. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

Purchase Links: Amazon USAmazon UK

About the Author: Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Visit her website at for more information.

In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

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