wildflowerMullen Dale captures female adult friendship poignantly and effectively in her romantic thriller. Never campy, but always relatable, I found myself wanting to be admitted into the circle of Wildflower Girls. This is decidedly not the “it” crowd at the high school lunchroom table all grown up and vamping it through adulthood to be seen. This is a group of women tempered by experience facing both the best and worst life has to offer head on. From the imprudent Harlyn who fights for respect in a male-dominated career to the indomitable Chrysanthemum who powers through grief and a mother’s horror, the Wildflower Girls are multidimensional.

The banter between the Wildflower Girls and the men who claim them is authentic, at times either heartrending or hilarious, and quintessentially Southern. I am reminded of a darker, grittier version of the Steel Magnolias. The pacing of the novel is quick and the sequence deftly avoids the pitfall of miring up in backstory. I am very much looking forward to Dale’s next installment of The Wildflower Girls saga.