The Best Kind of Beautiful tells the story of Florence and her wonderful, famous, jazz singing family who perform together like the Partridges’.
One night, when performing their hit ‘Santa Was a Jazz Cat’, Florence is overcome with a bout of stage fright which simultaneously becomes a catalyst for her retreat into herself and ignites a growing desire to create a life and image of herself that is entirely her own.
Then Florence meets Albert Flowers who is everything she wants and yet, exists in a world she believes she could never enter.
The two have their own immense secret troubles and troubling families to contend with but find solace in their work- re-planting bushland in Sydney.
As they learn more about each other they begin to realise they are not so different and need each other more than they realise.
What comes next is a beautiful love story that illuminates just how lovely, awkward, humiliating, enjoyable and hilarious love can be.
Whiting has penned a sweet and unpretentious novel that explores how people can outgrow their troubles and grow into themselves as they find each other.
Best of all, she manages to avoid the pitfalls that come with writing about suburban Australia and instead uses the unique imagery of the gorgeous native flora to create a world that is its own but which speaks to the familar, endearing the reader to the places and evoking memories for anyone who has ever sweated through an Australian summer.
Best Kind of Beautiful is a genuine, heartfelt ode to how wonderful life can be when you let down your barriers and let someone in.