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Flora Paperback – February 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Worldwide Library (February 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373970048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373970049
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,985,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
A delicate Erasian child-woman who moved between two worlds but shunned by both. An innocent beauty whose unawakened fires could be ignited by only one man.
A senuous tale of love, heartbreak and searing passion that sweeps from a remote village in western China to the teeming decadence of old Shanghi, and reaches its heart stirring conclusion in the opulent mansions and lush estates of turn-of-the century England.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Misfit VINE VOICE on October 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have marked this review with spoilers, because it's giving away more detail than I usually care to give, but there are some actions by the hero that could be considered a deal-breaker by some readers, and it's best they be forewarned.

Flora was the result of a marriage between her English father and a Chinese wife. Orphaned at a young age, she was raised in a Catholic mission in the back-o-beyond western China. When the book begins, it is 1903 and she's seventeen, and the père is beginning to regret giving Flora such an extensive education. Marriage is unlikely, and outside of taking the veil she hasn't got many options - he can try taking her to Shanghai where her options are better - but his health is too frail. It's all too complicated to try and explain, but Flora is brutally attacked, the old père dies, and she's now under the protection of English botanist Mr. Lomax (who is really the powerful and filthy rich Earl of Carlyon). Things get a bit dicey in Shanghai, and Carlyon decides to marry Flora and bring her to England, but he neglects to mention she's going to be the wife of a peer...

Spoilers going forward.

Now, how to categorize this book? There isn't enough romance to satisfy a romance reader, and as noted, some of Carlyon's actions aren't going to appeal today's PC minded readers. The historical settings are well done, but there isn't enough interaction with known historical people and/or events to tag it as historical fiction, so I'd call this a novel with a historical setting.

I did enjoy the first half of the novel, despite Carloyn's cavalier attitude towards his young wife, but after the Big Misunderstanding started, I was too annoyed to enjoy the second half as much as the first. Four stars for the first part, and two stars for the last part, rounded up to three overall.
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