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Summary

Jones is determined to find out what caused the unexpected death of her father while they were exploring ancient ruins in the Himalayas. Along with a stack of books and coded journals, he's left her with the promise she'll travel back to England for the first time since childhood to try being the lady she's never been.

Edie and her brother are leaving soon on a journey to the Himalayas to document and collect plants for the new Kew Gardens when she befriends Miss Jones in London. She's never left England before and is delighted to learn the lady will be returning to the mountains she calls home at the same time they are planning their travels. When they meet again in Srinagar, Edie is surprised to find that, out here, the Miss Jones of the London salons is "just Jones" the explorer, clad in breeches and boots and unconcerned with the proprieties Edie has been brought up to respect.

The nonbinary explorer and the determined botanist make the long journey over the high mountain passes to Little Tibet, collecting flowers and exploring ruins on the way. Will Jones discover the root of the mysterious deaths of her parents? Will she confide in Edie and allow her to help in the quest? The trip is fraught with perils for both of them, not least those of the heart.

©2020 JMS Books LLC (P)2020 A. L. Lester

What listeners say about The Flowers of Time

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting paranormal adventure in the 1780s

Before he died from a sudden and mysterious illness in the Himalayas, her father asked Jones to try her hand for a while at being a proper lady in England. Though definitely not a lady, Jones kept her promise and suffered through the English good society of the 1780s until she got the opportunity to go back to exploring little known places and studying civilizations on the other side of the planet. The only really good thing that came from her trip to Europe was meeting Henry and Edith Merton and their friend Bennett Carruthers. The brother and sister pair were about to travel to the Himalaya for botanical studies on behalf of the new Kew Gardens with Carruthers mapping ancient routes for the East India Company. When the trio meets with Jones in Srinagar, she’s not wearing dresses anymore but seems so comfortable in her breeches that they quickly get used to her true persona. Little do they know, however, that the explorer is trying to decipher her father’s journals and that what she’ll find will put them all in danger. I’m not as happy as I’d like reviewing this. While I rather enjoyed the story, which got my heart rate to rush at times, I cannot get over the disappointing narration. I’ve become used to narrators performing the stories I listen to whereas this one is merely reading it, with all sorts of parasite noises. Despite this book being part of the Lost in Time series, there’s no time travel in it and it can be read as a standalone. The paranormal and magical aspects blend well with the reality, the pace is appropriately slow and the romance, while light and very slow-burn (and fade to black) is sweet and plausible.

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Excellent story.

I really enjoyed this story. The setting was described so well you could picture it and the narrator did a great job bringing all of the characters to life. It was really nice to have non binary representation too.

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Both story and narration is captivating

I can't stress enough how wonderful this book is! A non-binary explorer in 18th century Himalayas and a quirky, adventurous female botanist who doesn't know what to make of the explorer initially, but is intrigued and drawn to them. They are both so interesting and well rounded and the feelings that slowly develop between them are so believable. I wish I knew of more books likte this one, it was truely unique in my experience. There is some magic and horrible beasts in the book, a cautionary tale about the dangers of using magic for your own ends, though it's not used like that by the protagonists. They are both intelligent and brave, and they both got this inner strength that is very appealing. Jones is so relaxed and themselves in their identity and Edie is curious of the world, accepting of what she finds and of others. I love them as individuals, but I love them even more as the couple they very slowly become. The narration is perfect! Zoe Brookes gives all the characters great voices, but I expecially love Jones' and Edie's voices. As a non-native English speaker I also appreciated her clear pronounciation, it made it easier for me to follow with all the strange-to-me place names.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • JEN
  • 11-01-21

An immersive story

I give the book, the story, 5 stars. I give the audio narration 4 stars. I felt completely immersed throughout this book and deeply invested in the characters' lives. It made me laugh from time to time - Edie's inner monologue is particularly funny - and I was definitely held in suspense. I think Jones, who is generally a well balanced and intelligent person, makes some pretty bad decisions with regard to magic. But so does nearly everyone in this series. "DON'T DO THE THING!," they're all told - and then they go and do The Thing. Ah, adventure & curiosity seekers, what would writers do without them? This book is listed as book 3 on Goodreads & Amazon currently. The author lists it as a standalone set in the same world. I believe it would be fun to read first, as it happens chronologically first, being centuries before the others. The further I got along in the story, the more I wanted to re-listen to/re-read the other books again, to see if there were any dots I hadn't connected. This is further evidence of how much I enjoyed this book and the others - that I immediately wanted to restart. As for the audio narration by Zoe Brookes, the emotion came through well - she did the dry wit of some of the characters very well, along with the more serious parts. And she does differentiate the voices to an extent too, Jones & Edie are quite differently voiced. But she does the reading very close to the mic, so you can hear the movements of her mouth here and there - I dislike the sound of chewing & such, BUT I did not find her narration discomfiting despite the closeness, so there's that. There are some tech issues, with the filtering seeming to come and go on a few occasions, making for a slight staticky sound. But I've heard worse tech issues than that and, other than those brief moments, I remained fully immersed in the story. I would not shy away from listening to a book with Brookes narrating.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • LH -Tygeren
  • 03-06-20

Delightful Story

This is a very enjoyable fantasy with a nonbinary main character, an independent lady and several amusing side characters to enhance the journey. Jones tries to straddle the ways of traditional women's versus men's place in 1779 society and being free. While Edie just wants to travel, explore and study the flora across the world. Both are drawn to each other and really connect as a magical tale is told. Felt like the ending was rushed. Otherwise, an adventurous story to listen to with lovely narration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janice Best
  • 18-05-20

Enjoyable story, wonderful narration

I enjoyed this book - even especially because the romantic part didn’t come until near the end, but when it did,it was beautiful. I really enjoyed the ending! The author makes a good case for Jones being not just “a woman struggling against the confines society placed on women (especially in the 1700s)”, but actually non-binary long before anybody coined the term. The narration was great - I wish I had the written word in front of me, because I find it hard to remember a word if I just hear it and cannot spell it. This is kind of a crap review, but really, it’s a great book. I love how all the characters in the book get along.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rabid Reader
  • 17-05-20

Enjoyed this story

I enjoyed this story. I can only imagine what it must have been like to live as non-binary person during these times. I was impressed with Jones' strength and Edie's bravery. The writing was strong and descriptive. However, I thought the story was too short and that there was a lot more we could have learned about both MCs. I had a hard time with the narration at first. There seemed to be a weird noise after the narrator spoke. It either went away after chapter 2 or it no longer bothered me :-). Overall, I would say that this was a nice listen. I would definitely check out other books by this author!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JKS
  • 16-05-20

The Flowers of Time

The Flowers of Time is an enjoyable story about Jones and Edie. They venture on a journey together through the mountains so Jones can find out what happened to their parents and Edie can collect plants. Jones and Edie are so sweet together. I love how if nothing ever happened between them sexually they would still be so caring of each other. I love how Jones can be exactly who they are even in a story set so far in the past. Both Jones and Edie are such beautifully written and relatable characters. This was my first book by this author and I will definitely be reading/listening to more. Narrator Zoe Brookes does a good job.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clau
  • 16-05-20

Beautiful story!

What a fantastic story! What can I say? I adore Jones, her certainty at who she is, her need for freedom and her complexity. Edie is sweet and kind, 'proper' and very, very independent taking the times into account. The story is somewhat short but so densely packed with facts that managed to cover years of Jones' life without leaving me with a feeling of shallowness. The magic/paranormal aspects of the story appear late in the book, but they are expected, as there were events from the beginning hinting that something was quite not right. And the romance... aw, slow burn, how much I love you! I love how slow and tentative is the transition between friendship and something different between Jones and Edie. Their feelings are deep, their intimacy comes from knowing each other, and from trusting each other. And this is all new for them, they both are in uncharted territory and the journey that brought them to this point is beautiful. I really hope we'll be seeing more of them soon :D Zoe Brookes does an excellent job with the narration :D