Flower of Iowa

Rated 4.83/5 based on 6 reviews
Winner, Foreword Indies Book of the Year (Gold - War & Military Fiction); 2 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards (Gold - Fiction: Romance, Silver - LGBTQ); IPPYs Bronze Medal (Military/Wartime Fiction); Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards (Gay Romance)
France, 1918: American Tommy Flowers and Briton David Pearson face the challenges of trench warfare even as their friendship develops an unexpected intimacy More
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About Lance Ringel

A journalist and writer for nearly five decades, Lance Ringel has penned five novels and four plays. At Vassar College, where he has worked for 20 years, he served as principal writer for Vassar Voices, a staged reading honoring the college’s sesquicentennial. It debuted at Lincoln Center, starring Meryl Streep, Lisa Kudrow and Frances Sternhagen and subsequently toured America and London. Ringel also wrote the narrative for At Home in the World, a music-and-words collaboration directed by John Caird that played in Japan, the U.S., and Uganda. Ringel has had an impressive career in politics as well, serving as Assistant Commissioner of Human Rights under New York Governor Mario Cuomo. A native of central Illinois, Ringel currently resides in Poughkeepsie, New York, with his spouse of 44 years, actor-composer Chuck Muckle.

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Reviews of Flower of Iowa by Lance Ringel

casaoro reviewed on July 26, 2020

Based on a glowing review on Goodreads by George, I purchased a copy of this ebook through Smashwords, and, before I even started it, recommended it to a friend who now has it on his TBR stack.
This story is so intriguing and well written that I devoured it - probably over 2 days and 16 hours of reading, I became involved with the story of the two principal protagonists and the strong supporting cast. Excellent detail, vivid prose, wonderful plotting.
As George wrote in his great, much longer review, I offer my no-hold-barred strong recommendation for an awesome read.
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
James Seymour reviewed on July 26, 2020

If you wonder whether you want to read a book about endless trench warfare over a century ago (as I did), you can relax. This is a wonderful novel. Yes, the context is a terrible war. But it's really about an international friendship, that morphs into.... well, I don't want to give it away. Yes, there are grim moments. But there are also wonderful characters -- even including a German prisoner of war. And OMG one "nun" -- she alone is worth the price of the book. Get it!
(reviewed 55 days after purchase)
Eugene Knapp reviewed on Oct. 16, 2014

Lance Ringel, in "Flower of Iowa," somehow found a way to combine tenderness, uncertainty, and authentic characters in the oddest of places - the very real towns and battlegrounds of World War I France. The beauty of the love Tommy and Davey share floats above the uncertainties and evils of war and the social traditions of the times. Like most of humanity, these amazing characters' lives twist and turn, often in miraculous ways with each other and with the many intertwined characters that populate their world - Jamie, Nicole, and so many others. If you are searching for a tender love story that blends honest history, sparkling dialogue, and a powerful ending that brings tears of both joy and sadness, you have no choice but to read "Flower of Iowa."
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
dahlia japhet reviewed on Oct. 5, 2014

From the first line, "Hey Tommy!", this novel is engrossing.
The two main characters are engaging young soldiers and the drama is in the contrast between their "innocence" and the horrors of the war . There are other excellently drawn characters. The author has a very thorough knowledge of the Western Front, so that the reader comes to actually identify with the soldiers and their experiences. The dialogue is crisp , the maps very helpful: overall , a terrific novel.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
aorcutt reviewed on Sep. 7, 2014

Flower of Iowa is a remarkable love story set in WWI. The book is incredibly rich in detail and expertly researched. I knew very little about WWI and was caught up in the drama...not only the love story of Tommy and David, but the horrors of trench warfare, and the political dramas of the allies fighting on the front and the devastation the great war left on the entire world.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
Captainrhetoric1 reviewed on June 22, 2014

Flower of Iowa is a sweeping epic that not only explores the American entrance to WWI, but is a daringly romantic tale of heroes, loss and friendship that grabs the reader in a deep place. The main characters, Tommy and Davey, came to life and made me pull for them from the start. The book is peopled with amazing characters that mostly seem believable and cause you to love or despise them. Jaime, who could have his own book, is the mentor and friend we all need, for example. The war scenes seem accurate and dangerous, but the danger does not transfer enough over to the love story between two men during a non "enlightened" time as it should. I feared them being caught but that was based on my own knowledge of the time. The novel was enjoyable overall but had some flaws. I felt the frequent usage of French became overwhelming and detracted. I know the author was going for authentic, but it could have been scaled back. I also think usage of nicknames in the narrative could have been limited more, as it felt unnecessary as the nicknames were perfectly placed in dialogue. It's also very long. That being said, I am still reeling from the ending. Although it is similar to the Absolutist in that it has a gay WWI romance, it stands alone and is distinct and quite enjoyable. Read this book if you love an epic love story, want to learn about the Great War's impact on lives, or want to be swept away to another place in time.
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)
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