All Flowers Bloom
Westphalia Press (2020)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (10/2020)
“All Flowers Bloom,” by Kawika Guillermo, is a time travel romance novel that brings freshness to the genre. It’s about the undying love of one soul for another, and the various ways they encounters each other during the many lives they live. This unique premise sets the stage for an unforgettable poetic odyssey of past lives. Not many lose loves, and then get the opportunity to have them again. This book will suspend whatever preconceived notions you have about reincarnation, multiple lives, and second chances. Whatever they are, set them aside and enter this imaginative world, where memories live, die, and are reborn.
What is first noticeable about this story is the author’s style of writing. It’s a unique blend of personal testament but has the objective coolness of someone observing from afar, almost detached. The combination of these two elements give the narrative an overall feeling of envelopment, or completeness. Guillermo’s language and phrasing are emotionally and intellectually stirring, using details that put you in the time and place he describes. The dialogue also keeps you invested in the plot, and in the lives of the characters.
As you read, you feel as though you’re in the same room or space with the characters, or become the characters, and this makes for a very entertaining and thought-provoking experience. I enjoy the convincing way the author writes. He firmly believes in his premise, and so it makes it easy to dive into the world he has created. The early passages read in an almost Biblical way, and the journeys of the souls are intriguing. In this book, you are involved in the death of the characters in a way you couldn’t be in other novels. Death becomes a character in itself, moving in and out of the lives like a flickering flame that comes and goes. Themes of religion, time, and the life/death cycles are also compelling. But the strongest idea found here is enduring love.
For a completely engrossing novel that will stay with you for a long time, do yourself a favor and get lost in “All Flowers Bloom,” by Kawika Guillermo.