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Consider the Lily Paperback – September 27, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 469 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143035819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143035817
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,492,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The impact that money or its lack can have on relationships among family and between men and women is clearly outlined in this English historical novel by the author of Daughters of the Storm (Bantam, 1990). Three alternating narratives show how Matty and her cousin Daisy become entangled with an attractive man, Kit. Brief allegorical chapters about flowers and gardening are interspersed in this tale of starcrossed lovers, set in the period between the two world wars. Will unattractive, moneyed Matty be able to keep her purchased man, or will spirited, attractive Daisy steal him away? Astute readers won't need the gardening chapters to figure out where this tale will end. Recommended for libraries where English family historicals and Regency romances have an audience.
- Sue Mevis, Ludlow Memorial Lib., Monroe, Wis.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

British writer Buchan (the paperback Daughters of the Storm, 1990) weaves a romantic, nostalgic tale of passion, dark family secrets, and the gentle solace of gardening, set in England in the Thirties and Forties. Matty Verral was orphaned in Damascus as a child and left to the care of her vicious, social-climbing aunt, Susan Chudleigh, who raised her in London--and who's now extremely irked that the wren- like, plain Matty is rich, while her own daughter, Daisy, beautiful and spirited, has no fortune at all. When Matty and Daisy are on holiday in the south of France and meet Kit Dysart, their handsome, well-born young countryman, both cousins fall in love--but Daisy is the one to whom he's powerfully and instantly attracted. Meanwhile, it's known that Kit's family has suffered in the post-WW I economic slump and that his beautiful family home, Hinton Dysart, is threatened. In a move that reveals the steely will beneath her frail exterior, Matty makes Kit a proposal he can't refuse: she will marry him and allow him to share in her fortune, at the same time permitting him the freedom to lead his own life. They marry once back in England, but Kit continues to be haunted by Daisy. Matty knows his feelings and unhappily accepts them--as well as her sorrow that she's unable to conceive a child. She occupies herself in redoing Hinton Dysart, and especially in renovating an abandoned garden, where occasionally she believes she glimpses a ghostly child. Then hints begin to surface of mysterious sorrows and carefully guarded secrets in her husband's family's past: sexual irregularities, tragic accidental death, suicide. Matty begins to probe--little suspecting that she'll soon have to face some painful discoveries of her own. Absorbing romance, well-drawn, sympathetic characters, vivid evocation of the beauties of English gardens and country houses- -plus a nice fillip of the supernatural. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on March 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a haunting and sad book...the writing is skilled and evocative, the characters are interesting. But it is SO evocative that I found myself depressed every time I entered the stark and dreary world that Buchan so skillfully creates. Even the gardening bits failed to offset the general miasma of gloom that permeates this book, at least for me. Buchan is a fine writer, but this book is hard going, albeit beautifully written. It has a Bronte-like feel, but without the passion. And the ghostly elements left me unmoved, which is unusual for me. Read it for the fine writing, but don't expect a quick or lighthearted experience.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Beverley Strong on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Set in that strange neverland time between the two world wars, Consider the Lily Has an almost mystical charm about it. Aristocratic Kit Dysart is loved by two women, one being the upper class but penniless Daisy..beautiful but self willed and dangerously feckless, and the other, her cousin Mattie, rather plain, sickly and orphaned, but enormously wealthy. Kits' family fortunes have been badly eroded, shockingly mishandled by his stubborn, irascible father who returned from the battle fields of France after WW1, a broken and bitter man. Lack of money forces Kit to ignore his passion for Daisy and to accept Mattys' proposal of marriage, so even though the marriage is one of convenience, the fortune she brings with her restores the family home and standing. The story isn't as plebian as perhaps I've painted it as it is peopled by diverse charcters, broken ex-soldiers with broken spirits, and a new class emerging in this restless time between the wars. Elizabeth Buchan writes beautifully with an underlying tinge of melancholy which fits the feeling of the moment...a feeling of impermanence and shadows.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Jacobi on January 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very moving and impressive. Buchan sets the mood wonderfully and the title 'Consider the Lily' is very apt. Her characters were interesting and sympathetic without being pushy. Should we sympathize with the lovers who cannot love? Or Mattie who is plain but rich? The ghost story was quite nice too, very gothic. All in all, a book worth re-reading!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MrsMorland on September 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with Calyndula on this one--and more so. This book shows real talent in creating a sense of place and mood, but I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters enough to finish the story. With Perfect Love, her next book, Buchan found a more sympathetic voice--recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jude on May 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I found this book a bit hard to get into, I persevered, and I am very pleased I did because, it was a most enjoyable read. There were a lot of characters in this book with a bit of a story attached to all of them just like in real life so it was an interesting book and easy to read. I've not read any of this authors books before so, I will definitely be reading more of them and hope they're as good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Irene Przeklasa on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't finish it. It was very slow and had no real substance. It was a waste of my money.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just loved this book. Beautifully written and I look forward to following the author to enjoy another good read.
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By lasare on November 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy works by this author as the writing is usually excellent & the narrative well evolved Whilst I did like .much about this book, I was a little disappointed as it was a little trite & predictable
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