YOU’LL NEVER FORGET THE FLOWER GIRLS
The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.
One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.
Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.
And The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…
The Flower Girls is a novel that largely centers around Hazel, a woman with a haunting past. Even if she can’t remember anything of it she’ll never be able to leave her past behind. She was only 6 years old when her sister – only 10 herself at the time – murdered a little girl and although Hazel received this new identity there’s always that fear that she might be recognised. And now Georgie, a little girl, is missing and she was in the vicinity… even after almost 20 years she knows it’s only a matter of time before she’ll find herself in the eye of a media storm again.
The plotline mainly highlights the impact of such a crime through the eyes of several people, each with their own personal angle. There’s a writer Max, a policewoman, and also a victim’s rights advocate who also happens to be the aunt of Kirstie, the murdered girl in 1997. The aunt, Joanna, really resonated with me and I enjoyed those entries most of all. She wants her niece’s killer to stay in jail forever, never getting out on parole, she doesn’t believe in rehabilitation.
I enjoyed reading the different angles but I missed hearing from the killer herself for most of the novel, what are her thoughts now, looking back on the events and why did she do it, what did she think then? The novel isn’t really about what happened exactly almost 20 years before, but I still kept wondering about what had happened for 90% of the novel and it’s only in the last pages that I finally received some answers about that eventful day, be it still quite briefly. I wanted to find a way to understand her reasoning or what made her do this in the first place so that I could take my own stand in this but I didn’t get to hear much of her for most of the novel. It didn’t make it any easier to find absolution. I didn’t hear the motive in both cases so I guess I have to assume it’s a matter of nature and of a person born evil. I know a lot of killers are just born bad but it didn’t feel as satisfying as I wanted it to be because I didn’t know all the facts. Of course in real life we don’t always get these answers as an outsider either and only learn what we know from reading the paper. Yet I still wonder if it would change my feelings. If this novel is anything, it’s certainly making you stand still and really think it through.
The Flower Girls definitely felt more psychological than thriller, maybe I’d even go so far as to call it an interesting study. It’s a novel that sets you up to think about accountability at a young age among other things, and how it can mark a person for the rest of their live. It makes you think about the real cases, what sort of lives the child killers lead now and if they’re also still looking over their shoulder.
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.