After the loss of her mother, Flora Maxwell is adrift, unmoored, and uncertain as to what comes next. Her family expects her to go to university and take a bigger role in the family tea shop, but she’s not quite sure that is the path she wants to take. A tense encounter with her family leaves her with a need to escape. So she does - running from Winchester, England to Miami, Florida - without telling anyone ahead of time, including her longtime friend Gordon Wallace.
But her escape does nothing to bring her clarity about her path in life. She still isn’t sure which passions she should pursue - or who she should have by her side as she does so. In an attempt to secure a famous photographer for her friend’s wedding, Flora finds herself in a fake dating scheme with teen influencer Baz Marín, who shares her love of photography. But as she gets closer to Baz, she also starts to see Gordon in a different light.
From the moment I met Flora in A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW, I knew I needed to find out her story. Thankfully, Laura Taylor Namey felt the same and now we have Flora’s beautiful story of heartbreak and self-discovery.
Even if you haven’t gone through the exact things that Flora has, she is a character that is easy to relate to. Her struggles with figuring out where her life is going to go will resonate with all readers who are on the precipice of big changes in their lives. Namey does not shy away from the tough emotions and I found myself transported back in time to my own struggles with the future alongside Flora’s struggles.
The fake dating trope is one that romance readers (and Flora herself!) know well and Namey paired it with a love triangle, which caused my brain to malfunction, but it also was the best way to tell this particular story. Flora was missing parts of herself that she needed both of the love interests to unlock. Each of these characters played off of each other beautifully and Namey created a love story that was also incredibly healing.
Flora is flooded with guilt and it informs a lot of the decisions she makes throughout the story. She is a messy and angry character and she was allowed to just be that way, which is not always the case with messy female characters. It was refreshing to see a female character explore her feelings without being asked to change them. The people around her allowed her to (mostly) deal with them on her own terms, even if they were angry or upset with her, and it really speaks to the importance of finding yourself without outside influence. Flora was able to flourish because she was allowed to flounder - and while that sounds a bit harsh, Namey found a beautiful balance between overbearing and indifference.
An honest and compelling story of heartbreak, healing, and finding your people (and yourself), A BRITISH GIRL’S GUIDE TO HURRICANES AND HEARTBREAK by Laura Taylor Namey will leave you with a little more pep in your step. It's available now and you can grab a copy here as well as its companion A CUBAN GIRL'S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW and fall in love with this beautiful little found family as they navigate life and all that it throws at them.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will also be supporting indie bookstores like my local fave Linden Tree Books without whom this review would not be possible! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."