The Three Loves of Persimmon by Cassandra Golds

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Penguin Books 2010. ISBN 9780143205012.
(For ages 14-16 years). This is a rather strange story that hovers between real and imagined worlds. A shy and vulnerable young girl, desperate for attention and affection, has her world tossed about by prospective lovers and strange companions. Persimmon is a florist, alone in the world, having been disowned by her family, which itself had split into two camps, the scientists and the artists; fruit and vegetable growers and flower growers. She takes the creative, artistic road, a dreamer and rather impractical, but valiantly attempts to make her new florist business work. Encouraged by letters sent to her by her now deceased Great Aunt Lily, she is also on a quest for love. Strange creatures aid her on her journey to love; a talking ornamental cabbage and a bewildered little mouse called Epiphany, and they share numerous romantic and adventurous episodes with the young heroine. Art, the theatre and flowers provide an interesting backdrop with the array of characters dreaming of things unattainable. Finally, hope and love are discovered.
The book is quite well written but the story struggles to keep its momentum, and it is difficult to ascertain the novel's readership.
Julie Wells