Rachel Kelsey Kemper was fourth on her parents’ emergency contact list so an evening call from their family physician signals a major calamity. As the crisis deepens, fractured family relations splinter. No one is innocent, no one is strong enough on their own to fight what will come.
Winner of the 2014 Midwest Book Award in both Contemporary Fiction and Literary Fiction, The High Cost of Flowers follows the Kemper family through the demise of their matriarch and struggle to redefine relations without her. The Kempers are as familiar as your neighbors, working and struggling to raise decent kids, feeling their way through multigenerational conflicts.
Here’s how I know novelist Cynthia Kraack is a top-flight author: Coming off publication of the final book in her generations-spanning, speculative fiction trilogy Ashwood, she has written a new book that is completely different than what preceded it but maintains echoes of what made the Ashwood series so compelling: family, family and more family. In The High Cost of Flowers, Kraack presents us with the Kemper family. They’re just like your family and mine, except the author gives the reader access to all of their secrets, warts and all.
—Bob Andelman, Mr. Media, on iHeart Radio