"Where The Hollyhocks Are Free To Grow" by Rena Blake Dillman

If you are looking for a great book for Valentine's Day, then you might want to drop by Patchworks on the Hope Town Square and pick up a copy of Rena Dillman's fifth book, Where The Hollyhocks Are Free To Grow. Admittedly, I know the book quite well considering Rena asked me to help in editing it. I never grew weary of the story even though I ended up reading it multiple times which speaks highly of the content.

In summing up the book, Rena writes:

"'Where The Hollyhocks Are Free To Grow' is a story of two hurting hearts, brutally broken from love lost. Fearful of reaching out to one another, not allowing themselves to be hurt again, they hide their true feelings. A young child, who has lost his mother, helps bring these two hearts together along with a little help from family and friends."

How did Rena come up with the title? Well, you will find the answer to that question in the introduction of the book. I thought it would be of interest to share a few excerpts:

"I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the hollyhock. I guess this is in part because of my fond memories of Daddy making me dolls from the blooms when I was very small. ... He would turn them inside out, and they would look like miniature dolls with beautiful dresses. My paternal grandmother had an array of them growing everywhere. ...

"Hollyhocks were not at any of the homes where I lived until after Mother passed away and Daddy came to live with us. He decided to bring some from the home where they lived before her passing and planted them in my backyard. ... By the next spring, they were all over the backyard. I had shoots springing up around my patio, in the concrete cracks on the patio and in places, that quite frankly, I never dreamed a flower could possibly survive. ...

"We are not always planted, at least on purpose. For whatever the circumstance that caused us to end up where we are, we can still bring beauty to someone, something or someplace where beauty has never been before and is much needed and appreciated. The beauty of the hollyhock or the individual is in the eye of the beholder, a welcomed sight or reflection of the past filed carefully away to be remembered on that occasion in life when a surge of warmth needs to penetrate our hearts once again. ..."

Honestly, I did not even know what a hollyhock was until Rena asked me to read this book. I am glad to now know the flower and the beauty and the power its presence represents within the story.

All five of Rena's books are very different. When asking her how she can write such a variety, she will tell you that they are inspired from a Higher Source. After working with her on all of them since the first one, Patchworks, in 2005, I don't question it.

I would encourage you to stop by Rena's store. Even if you do not purchase this book or one of her many works of art, you will talk to one of the most genuine individuals I have ever met and will walk away feeling better about life!