15.12.10

Book Review: Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley

As a child, concert pianist Julia Forester would linger in the hothouse of Wharton Park estate, where exotic flowers tended by her grandfather blossomed and faded with the seasons.
Now, recovering from a family tragedy, she once more seeks comfort at Wharton Park, newly inherited by Kit Crawford, a charismatic man with a sad story of his own. But when a years-old diary is found during renovation work, the pair turn to Julia's grandmother to hear the truth about the love affair that turned Wharton Park's fortunes sour...
And so Julia is plunged back in time, to the world of Olivia and Harry Crawford, a young couple torn apart by the Second World Wat - and whose fragile marriage is destined to affect the happiness of generations to come, including Julia's own.
I had a good feeling about this book as soon as it arrived and it is definitely in my top 10 favourite reads of 2010. It has everything I love; history, romance, drama, mystery and a beautiful country estate right at the heart of it.
The book jumps between the present day and the time just before and after the Second World War. There are a fair few characters involved in the story but they are all connected the Wharton Park Estate in some way.
Lucinda Riley expertly builds up events in the book, her descriptions are beautifully rich and vivid. The book takes place in both England and Bangkok both provide a beautiful backdrop to the story.
The Second World War changes everything for the Crawford family as it did for so many others. The author shows how the war led people to make decisions and choices that may not have been made if they had not endured such a terrifying ordeal. It is these decisions and closely guarded secrets that Julia gradually uncovers. I don't want to give anything away but I was pleasantly surprised  by just how many twists and turns this book contains.
Hothouse Flower is a fabulous book, it really reminded me of Kate Morton's writing. The story was totally absorbing and I shall be looking out for further books by Lucinda Riley in the future.

The book is out now, many thanks to Penguin for sending me a copy to review.

9 comments:

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! I absolutely love the premise for this book and will put it on my wishlist immediately. I like stories in which the past and the present connect and in which country houses/manors have a big role. I love Kate Morton, so this is just the sort of novel for me.

Kim and Mona said...

This book sounds delightful, I have put it on my 'to look out for' list. Thank you for a great review. So glad you are feeling better, Dot.

Dot said...

Irena- I loved it, just a really great story!

Kim- I think you would really enjoy this one!

Dizzy C said...

Great review, thanks.

This was already on my wishlist and am hoping it makes it's way into my stocking this year.

My kinda novel.

carol

Dot said...

Carol- Here's hoping that Santa got your request, I think you will enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

They've scheduled for this as the next read for this book club I am going to for the first time tonight. We just read "The Postmistress" by Sarah Blake. Is this book in the same style? If so, I want to get out of this club. While I still can.

Dot said...

Anonymous- I'm afraid I haven't read The Postmistress so can't really say! I loved Hothouse Flower though and it would be a good book to talk about in a group.

claire said...

Hi. A very romantic soapy gushy saga. This is not what one would call intellectual reading but serves a purpose. The public adore the Mills & Boon and all sentimental sugary fiction which will always be popular. People love this type of book, but not for me.

Dot said...

Claire- I have to say that I have a great deal of respect for Mills and Boon books but I don't think that you can compare this book to those. Have you read the book as you don't say if you have or not?

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...