Where Flowers Grow

A California Family Saga

An ambitious man has dreams as big as the valley he calls home. But will his dreams be thwarted by a wife turned alcoholic?

Where Flowers Grow is a family saga spanning forty years during the last half of the 20th century. It’s an inspirational story of a family determined to succeed in the face of mounting forces seeking to crush them at every turn.

California 1953. The story opens in the decade sandwiched between World War II and the Sixties Cultural Revolution. Richard Bankston has just moved his Boston bride, Gina, to the small town on Monterey Bay where he is a civil engineer with an up-and-coming construction company headquartered there—a town with the richest farmland in the world, some of which he eyes for himself. Richard is proud of his new wife, who adds class to his image and is oblivious to her discontent with provincial life. Together, they create a family and a vibrant social life until things fall apart. Richard discovers that Gina has a drinking problem and despite several tries at rehab, she cannot shake her addiction to alcohol. 

With the family in crisis, Richard has no choice but to divorce Gina. In one fell swoop, he gains custody of his four sons and purchases the ranch of his dreams, which he hopes will one day make him millions. Cesar Chavez and his United Farm Workers Union are threatening strikes. Richard’s concerns increase when he and his sons start a flower farm that requires farmhands to get the flowers harvested for market. And if labor strikes aren’t enough, droughts and floods do the rest to hobble them. However, they persevere and become one of the top flower growers in California. Even a Hollywood director takes notice and films their field of purple statice for his movie’s opening scene. But Mother Nature still has one more wallop to deliver—a massive earthquake that devastates the town while bringing Gina back into his life. Richard has barely come up for air when a new foe rears its ugly head. After overcoming so many challenges, will Richard’s dreams end in disaster?

Where Flowers Grow captures a tumultuous period in California history through the trials and tribulations of the Bankston family. But as Lady Bird Johnson’s quote reveals—"Where flowers grow, so does hope.”

If you like inspirational stories about a determined hero who never gives up, then you’ll enjoy reading Where Flowers Grow.