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The Orchid House: A Novel Paperback – February 14, 2012
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"A really fine page-turner." (Elle (Germany))
"Atmospheric, heart-rending, and multilayered." (Grazia (UK))
"Great escapist reading for lovers of historical fiction." (Library Journal)
"Lucinda Riley is one of the most compelling and gifted storytellers working today." (The Paramus Post)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Julia, at first, is not the most likable character; she is too lost in her depression, the cause of which you do not know for a while, to be too understandable, at least to someone lacking such an experience. She is actually rather rude to her well meaning family members, pushing away those that would help. But, as she becomes enthralled by the glimpses into the past, she begins to open up, like an orchid perhaps, revealing the bright spirit underneath.
Riley's novel champions love. She definitely seems to believe that real love is out there. However, she also clearly knows that love does not always win out. In fact, love may lose more often than not. Many romances end in tragedy, due to bad timing or a lack of reciprocation. She points out too how passion can blind one, and that love might be more calm than exciting. The variations of love felt by the characters is touching and inspirational and sad.
The historical fiction sections were completely fascinating, not that the modern ones were not. I know absolutely nothing about the WWII occurrences in Thailand. My favorite thing about historical fiction is learning things I previously didn't know. I may need to research this. Also, I now really want to go to Thailand and swim in the ocean.
If you like well-written fiction, do not miss this. Also, this might appeal to Downton Abbey fans.
The Orchid House is a tale full of twists, surprises, and secrets that take the reader through the past and present, from Thailand to England. Julia Forrester is in the midst of overcoming a tragedy when she stumbles on a considerable family secret. Her grandmother fills in the gaps of their family history which causes turmoil and heartache. Her grandmother's poignant account of Julia's heritage is a compelling account filled with sadness, honor, and love. The parallels between Julia's current situation and those of her ancestors is revealed in an unforced way.
There are really two stories that easily weave into one life altering family narrative. The ending was one of the best parts of the book, don't worry, no spoilers, because it slowly developed into an ending. Rather than a dramatic closure that felt rushed, or the predictable happy ending tied off with a bow, the gradual denouement took some turns I guessed at, but plenty I did not.
I recently started to enjoy historical fiction, and was in love with how Lucinda Riley transported me to war torn Bangkok and to the 1930's, when British society and aristocracy had a huge impact on the country. It was easy to sense how the characters must have felt, and see what the characters must have seen, in those places at those times.
The most amazing aspect of The Orchid House was the character development. Early on I noticed the realistic character interaction and dialogue. As the book continued I felt so much of what the characters felt, from embarrassment to dismay, and from pain to joy. Lucinda Riley made it easy to love some characters, despise others, and feel a connection to everyone in the story.
I really enjoyed this story. I felt for Julia from the very beginning, she deals with so much pain throughout the story. It was intersting reading about her ups and downs in getting over the death of her family. I really liked how Riley showed Julia's recovery from so much pain, it felt real. I loved Kit from the very beginning and it was obvious that he would be just the person to help Julia through such a difficult time.
This story is filled with lots of secrets from the past and I enjoyed reading Julia's grandmother's account of what happened to Julia's family so many years ago. The story is heartbreaking and emotional and I was very surprised by secrets that were revealed at the end. There are many twists and turns in the book that keep you reading to find out what happens next.
The only problem I had with the book was the writing. While I loved the story, there were times the dialogue was just awful. There were a few times I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the things the characters would say in the book. Some better writing would have really helped make this good story even better.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to like this book -- the premise was intriguing, and I usually enjoy stories that go back and forth between a modern-day protaganist and the past. But this was a slog. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jennifer Mele
A wonderful story, spanning decades of love and regret, told through a wonderful mixture of history, geography and drama, written in a way that kept me wanting more!Published 20 days ago by Elizabeth
I loved this right from the start .. even though the time period changes back and forth . it is not confusing .. Want to
read more from this author.
The plot of orchid house kept me thrilled and grabbed my attention right from the introduction. The characters that were portrayed literally made a mental picture of pure warmth... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kana
Keeps your interest with a lot of plot twist and turns with a romantic thread throughout. Also a realistic story.Published 1 month ago by PrimePenner
Riley's books are always good. Could not wait to read on as there was always a surprise ahead.
Another great book by Lucinda Riley. Pathos, intrigue, love, history and hope. I highly recommend all her books, which I have now finished reading. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Donna J. Parkinson