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Hothouse Flower Paperback – 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141049375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141049373
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I read one of Lucinda Rileys books and loved it so much I have purchased all her books.
judy allen
Extremely well written the story flows beautifully, period and locations are credibly described and the characters feel realistic.
LindyLouMac
Our bookclub agreed on this book because of the Richard & Judy suggestion I think it was the only 5 star on their list!
aimoir

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jo D'Arcy on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Where to start in describing this book and `selling' the story to other potential readers without giving away the whole wonderfully constructed plot?

Julia has suffered an immense tragedy in her life and has returned to a cottage she owns in Norfolk, not far from Wharton Park where she spent many happy childhood hours with her grandparents Bill and Elsie who worked on the estate. Bill was the estate gardener and looked after the Hothouse where he grew, nurtured and flourished the many rare orchids. Elsie was a maid up at the `big house' and remembers what the estate and house used to be like, and the family that lived there.

Kit Crawford is the new Lord Wharton and is trying to rescue the house and estate, but knows because of years of neglect from previous related owners including his father that it looks like he is going to have to sell it with the proviso he can move into the old gardener's cottage. When he starts to redevelopment the cottage, a diary is found and the circle of Julia's life and Kits suddenly collide and there is another story to discover from the Second World War As readers we learn about how the past and the future of Kit, Julia and inevitably Wharton Park are inextricably linked forever.

This is a strong book, with a fairly complex plot and a number of characters but Lucinda Riley weaves a tale that makes it easy to follow and completely absorbing. I found myself wanting to read it any spare minute I had, just to get to the next bit. It effectively jumps from the present day back to the events of the war and afterwards. Additionally scattered throughout the book is the thoughts and reflections of Julia. This is all done with ease and very obvious to the reader without having to look back through pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LindyLouMac on April 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
It is worth noting that Hothouse Flower was republished in 2012 with the title of The Orchid House just so that any confusion with readers thinking it might be a different story, when this is not the case are cleared up straight away. Although the central theme of a family saga set in a country house spanning from the 1930's to the present day is far from an original one, this one is different. It has such a multi layered story to tell us with so many stirring and compelling love stories, secrets and surprises to share I stayed awake far too late at night reading this as I was engrossed. Extremely well written the story flows beautifully, period and locations are credibly described and the characters feel realistic. The situations that they face are ones that we are all able to empathise with from generation to generation. Certainly one of the best family sagas of the genre that I have read recently.

At the centre of the story is the female protagonist Julia Wharton who growing up had spent many happy hours in the heated greenhouses of the Wharton Park estate where her grandfather tended the orchids. It seems only natural therefore for her to return to the area when she needs to recover from a devastating personal tragedy. It is whilst coming to terms with her grief that she discovers quite by chance a family secret that will cause even more heartache. The story of the family history is related to Julia by her grandmother and stretches back to the nineteen forties when Harry Crawford the heir to the estate marries his bride Olivia before the second world war separates them. The results of this enforced separation will be felt for generations to come as this poignant and atmospheric story takes us from war torn Europe to the present day alternating between Norfolk and Thailand. With plenty of passion and twists and turns along the way I highly recommend this to all fans of the genre.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Wertheimer on June 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was really excited to find this book through Amazon's UK website. The reviews were excellent, and the search engine had allied it with Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden, which I loved. So I ordered it.

I think that the reviewers on Amazon's UK site and I must have read different books. I was almost relieved when I looked for it on Amazon.com to find that the reviewers in the US and I agreed about it. This is not a good book.

There are three major problems with this book, and one minor one. The first major one is the plot. The plot is both contrived and improbable, and the book is not sufficiently well written to make the reader willing to suspend disbelief and enter the worlds of the characters. The second is the characters, who are one-dimensional, unrealistic, and uninteresting. The dialogue is painful! The third is the setting. People coming out of Changji at the end of World War II faced years of reentry problems, but in this book the people shake it off and resume their lives with incredible speed. In fact, I was worried when I started this book because reading about Changji is so disturbing. I needn't have been concerned, though, because this book somehow manages to trivialize what must have been utterly devastating for those forced to be there.

The minor problem is the grammar. Vocabulary words are used as though the author had read the definitions but ignored actual usage patterns. In places, the book read almost as though it were a translation from another language. Additionally, characters "laughed" their remarks on a frequent basis, sometimes when doing so was inappropriate to the scene under way. Laughing remarks would be a neat trick, and I have never seen anyone accomplish it.
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