REVIEW: All Tall Flowers – Joshua Ian

All Tall Flowers - Joshua Ian

Genre: Historical, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Tony

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About The Book

England, 1910

It’s Valentine’s Day and Gareth, footman at the local manor, is determined to make his true feelings known for his companion, Robbie. Robbie has big dreams for his future and Gareth is hoping he can be a part of them. Armed with a box of chocolates, a solicitor’s letter of good news, and hopeful determination, Gareth goes to meet Robbie for lunch. But will Robbie be as eager as Gareth to make their situation permanent? Or will the pressure of having to keep their love a secret be too much for their dreams to handle?

‘All Tall Flowers’ is a sweet, historical romance short with a happy and hopeful ending. It is a short story of about 8300 words or approx. 25 pages in print.

The Review

Gareth and Robbie are going to take a chance on love in a world that does not see them as worthy members of society. They are working class, and in service. We get to meet a number of characters from both houses, and from where Gareth’s sister works.

The story bounces along nicely and has a tension relating to whether Gareth can let Robbie into his news concerning his legacy.

What’s not explained is how Libby’s and Gareth’s parents had money enough to leave a legacy to their offspring, considering that Gareth is a footman for a large house and Libby works in a village shop. A small matter that does not distract from the story. There’s a good feel for the period and the inhibitions, pettiness, prejudices and the restrictions in 1910, which seems to be an important date for the author. It’s a few years before the start of the Great War, so one cannot but wonder how any of his characters will fare once that bursts onto the world scene.

A short story, but a sweet one.

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on. 

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