Spoiler Alert- I love this book and it is one of my favorites of 2012 so far. Last week, the lovely author, Lucinda Riley, wrote a guest post for us- here. Wonder if she got that turquoise box?
I asked my friend Jean of www.mommytotwoboys.com to review it for me. Then, I read it as well. This is a must- read friends! If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, this book is for you. If you like British family sagas centered around World War I and a large estate, this book is for you.
When I read the first 2 pages of The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley, I was ready to call Andrea and yell at her, “You know I don’t do romance, why did you send me this?” But instead I read on, and was pleasantly, pleasantly surprised.
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.
Simon and Schuster provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own and those of the reviewer.
What are you reading and where are you going?