I was moving this book from the new shelf to the regular stacks this morning, and I wanted to put a few lines in about just how fascinating this book is before it's lost in the 338 section.
The subtitle of the book is "The good, the bad, and the beautiful in the business of flowers"--heady stuff. She divides the book into three parts: Breeding, Growing and Selling. For example, the chapters on breeding cover the ways that flowers are genetically manipulated for scent, color, lasting power, and Stewart finds and interviews the family of the eccentric grower who developed the 'Star Gazer' Lily. In all likelihood, the only pink lilies you've ever seen were 'Star Gazers.'
The book itself reads almost like a documentary--she's superb at setting the scene, describing the flower auction warehouse in Amsterdam with all the details that give you the sense that she has all the camera angles mapped out should PBS ever give this the green light. With all the characters and exotic locales, there is enough action to keep you page-turning in a subject most would not expect to find so enthralling.