Gillyflower by Diane Wald (Review)

Gillyflower was definitely an interesting read for me! First – can we all agree the cover is gorgeous? The actual flower- the gillyflower holds significant symbolic meaning to many cultures around the world – and historically as one of the original “romantic” plants for lovers with connotations of bliss and everlasting love.

We all have that one celebrity crush right? Mine (don’t laugh) was forever Vince Vaughn – he’s just “So Money!” and I think everyone can resonate with having that ONE celeb you watch every movie they are in, or buy every album they sing… and in the case of this story – Nora, is truly obsessed and adores actor Hugh Sheenan.

She’s followed his career and swooned over his photos, plastering her teenage walls with his gorgeous smile. And now, even though she’s happily married to Rick and at a time in her life when crushes seem so silly- she’s still thrilled to be attending a play where he is the lead actor – and will actually be breathing the same air as him!

What transpires is magical, a bit enchanting, and a tad mysterious. Both Nora and Hugh had dreams of the play (and each other) before it even started its run – then at a particular scene, their eyes lock – him on stage, her in the audience – and they are somehow connected in an electrifying way.

It’s a short story – so I won’t delve into it too much more. It’s a coincidental love, stemmed from a mysterious dream – with quite a surprise ending.


  • File Size: 971 KB
  • Print Length: 166 pages
  • Publisher: She Writes Press (April 16, 2019)
  • Publication Date: April 16, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC


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Thank you so much to She Writes Press, Diane Wald and BookSparks #partner for the free book to review as part of the Spring Books Dates campaign: #SwipeRightonReading


About the Book

Boston, 1984. Even in a world without cell phones, messages come through loud and clear if one is listening. When thirty-something Nora Forrest travels to Manhattan to see a Broadway play starring her idol, an aging Irish actor named Hugh Sheenan, she doesn’t know whether what happens in the theater that night should be credited to witchcraft, extrasensory perception, synchronicity, or simple accident–and she knows that many people would tell her nothing had happened at all. Told through the voices of four people, Gillyflower is a story about intersections and connections–real, imaginary, seized, and eluded. It’s a book about everyday magic, crystalline memory, and the details that flow through time and space like an electrified mist. It’s a detective story, a love story, and a coming-of-age story–for the never really young and for the almost old.



About the Author

dwaldDiane Wald was born in Paterson, NJ, and has lived in Massachusetts since 1972. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has published over 250 poems in literary magazines since 1966. She was the recipient of a two-year fellowship in poetry from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and has been awarded the Grolier Poetry Prize, The Denny Award, and The Open Voice Award. She also received a state grant from the Artists Foundation (Massachusetts Council on the Arts). She has published four chapbooks (Target of Roses from Grande Ronde Press, My Hat That Was Dreaming from White Fields Press, Double Mirror from Runaway Spoon Press, and faustinetta, gegenschein, trapunto from Cervena Barva Press) and won the Green Lake Chapbook Award from Owl Creek Press. An electronic chapbook (Improvisations on Titles of Works by Jean Dubuffet) appears on the Mudlark website. She received the first annual Anne Halley Poetry Prize from the Massachusetts Review. Her book Lucid Suitcase was published by Red Hen Press in 1999 and her book, The Yellow Hotel, was published by Verse Press in the fall of 2002. Her book WONDERBENDER was published in 2011 by 1913 Press. She has taught at Boston University, The Art Institute of Boston, and Northeastern University. Gillyflower, her first novel, will be released in April 2019. Visit the GIllyflower website:


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