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Hothouse Flower | [Lucinda Riley]

Hothouse Flower

As a child, Julia Forrester spent many idyllic hours in the hothouse of Wharton Park estate, where her grandfather tended the exotic flowers. So when a family tragedy strikes, Julia returns to the tranquility of Wharton Park and its hothouse. Recently inherited by charismatic Kit Crawford, the estate is undergoing renovation. This leads to the discovery of an old diary, prompting the pair to seek out Julia's grandmother to learn the truth behind a love affair that almost destroyed Wharton Park.
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Publisher's Summary

A heart-rending page turner which sweeps from war-torn Europe to Thailand and back again . . .As a child Julia Forrester spent many idyllic hours in the hothouse of Wharton Park estate, where her grandfather tended the exotic flowers. So, when a family tragedy strikes, Julia returns to the tranquility of Wharton Park and its hothouse. Recently inherited by charismatic Kit Crawford, the estate is undergoing renovation. This leads to the discovery of an old diary, prompting the pair to seek out Julia's grandmother to learn the truth behind a love affair that almost destroyed Wharton Park.Julia is taken back to the 1940s where the fortunes of young couple Olivia and Harry Crawford will have terrible consequences on generations to come. For as war breaks out Olivia and Harry are cruelly separated . . .

©2010 Lucinda Riley (P)2011 Audible Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (109 )
5 star
 (57)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.3 (97 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.3 (98 )
5 star
 (51)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    alison Samford Valley, Australia 03-04-13
    alison Samford Valley, Australia 03-04-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    31
    10
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Life's Too Short"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I had high hopes for the book--so many of my favourite themes were promised; few, however, were delivered. The book's greatest lack was forward momentum. Lagging behind that was succinctness.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Lucinda Riley again?

    Her style is not to my liking, so no.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Beth Chalmers’s performances?

    Beth Chalmers has a talent for bringing characters to life. Her skill at regional accents and her dramatisation made it easy to picture the people. Unfortunately, some of her characters were grating. The sister of the protagonist, in particular, set my teeth on edge. I turned down the volume whenever her particular character was talking.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Time and time again, the motives behind even simple actions were stated and explained, giving the impression the author had little respect for her readers' intelligence. When I found myself involuntarily rolling my eyes and groaning aloud, I realised it was time to call it quits. On the positive side, I came away with a deeper appreciation of what critics and writing coaches mean when they use the descriptor "overwritten."


    Any additional comments?

    I had to give up on this one after several hours of listening, and it came down to a simple matter of trust. I lost all faith in the author's ability to get to the point.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy BRONX, NY, United States 03-24-15
    Cindy BRONX, NY, United States 03-24-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
    3
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    "what a lovely story"

    I followed the story easily and learned to love the characters. just splendid. go on and purchase.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ally 09-27-12
    ally 09-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    0
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    "Too much like a soap opera"

    Somewhat entertaining but nothing is left to the imagination. It sounded more like a script than a novel. It could have been much shorter with less boring conversation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucy 05-18-15
    Lucy 05-18-15 Member Since 2012

    I so enjoy Audible...helps me get my to-do list accomplished.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    17
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    Story
    "Very Happy Surprise!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Hothouse Flower to be better than the print version?

    After reading several negative reviews, although I love Lucinda's stories, I had decided against getting this book. However, since Audible has such a wonderful return policy, I changed my mind and took a chance & purchased this book. I am so very happy I did. I LOVED this book. I wasn't crazy w/Beth Chalmers reading initially, but grew to really appreciate her range and accents. So take a chance, I don't think you will be disappointed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    All of the different stories that were interwoven. And also the beautiful description of Thailand.


    Have you listened to any of Beth Chalmers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, see above.


    If you could take any character from Hothouse Flower out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Billy


    Any additional comments?

    I need a new author...I have exhausted all of Lucinda's Audible books. I would love to see this book made into a movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alison 02-17-15
    alison 02-17-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    16
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    Story
    "A long, slow joirney.."
    Would you listen to Hothouse Flower again? Why?

    I enjoyed the book, but would probably not listen to it again. There were too many stories within stories, which made it feel a little dragged out in places.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    This could possibley have been done over two books, or maybe settle for less is more in terms of storyline twists.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Beth Chalmers?

    Not sure that I particularly liked the narration style.


    Who was the most memorable character of Hothouse Flower and why?

    Julia was the stand out character, with the others revolving around her in some way.


    Any additional comments?

    A long haul for an audio book, but overall nice story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth M. Penson 10-22-14 Member Since 2015

    Ruth

    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
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    39
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    Story
    "enjoyable "chick-lit""

    I enjoyed this story. I could not stand the narrator when she used her "faux" accents. Had she just read in her normal voice instead of "trying" to act, the whole experience would have been far better, but....instead it was really annoying and really bad!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany San Diego, CA, United States 01-27-14
    Tiffany San Diego, CA, United States 01-27-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    131
    30
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    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Very similar to her other books"

    She seems to follow the same plot as her other novel. This book left me disliking almost all of the characters.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cleber são leopoldo, brazil 09-10-13
    cleber são leopoldo, brazil 09-10-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    36
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    Story
    "Sublime, utterly lovely."
    If you could sum up Hothouse Flower in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, lovely, fascinating.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Hothouse Flower?

    When Kit gets to fly to Thailand to settle his love to Julia at the expense and generosity of Lidia, followed by the purchase of the estate;


    Have you listened to any of Beth Chalmers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not. None the less, this was perfect.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Julia plays the gran piano to Lidia.


    Any additional comments?

    The most fascinating love story I read to date.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig ANGELS CAMP, CA, United States 06-09-13
    Craig ANGELS CAMP, CA, United States 06-09-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not so hot"
    Would you try another book from Lucinda Riley and/or Beth Chalmers?

    maybe


    Would you ever listen to anything by Lucinda Riley again?

    maybe


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    British accent


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    not much


    Any additional comments?

    just didn't hold my interest. Slow start - didn't make me eager to listen anymore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bola LAUREL, MD, United States 08-16-12
    Bola LAUREL, MD, United States 08-16-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    30
    13
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    0
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    Story
    "What a story!!!"
    If you could sum up Hothouse Flower in three words, what would they be?

    Family stories of long ago. Unfortunate circumstances.


    What other book might you compare Hothouse Flower to and why?

    I would compare it to Kate Morton’s The Shifting Fog or the distant hours or house at Riverton to mention a few


    What does Beth Chalmers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Love her British accent and the way she changed her voice to represent each character


    If you could take any character from Hothouse Flower out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    First Bill for his loyalty, then Olivia – she need not suffer for that long


    Any additional comments?

    Beautiful story. I enjoyed every moment of it. It is interesting the journey life takes each and every one of us. I wish Harry did not marry Olivia because he truly did not love her. They never had a child – the main purpose for marrying. Poor Olivia – I think when life hands you lemon, you make lemonade out of it. Why live a miserable life because of someone!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Karen
    Isle of Man, United Kingdom
    2/26/12
    Overall
    "Such variety - real escapism"

    Really enjoyed this audio. So many different stories in one, without the usual confusion if you get a bit distracted when listening. A heart warming love story, but also one of class and culture. Would highly recomment this and will probably listen again. Excellent audio recording and story.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Coco the Coo
    5/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exuberant and unsubtle"

    Were the characters in this book so cliched that they verged on the surreal, or is it just that Beth Chalmers voice is really hard to listen to? There is no doubt that Beth hams up posh people's voices till they sound so savagely clipped and cold that it's hard to connect to the characters; and she hams up the romance so much that her women sound tooth clenchingly saccharine and slightly freakish....But surely it wouldn't have been so painful if she'd had less irritating dialogue to convey?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Merelina
    Halinghen, France
    2/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An enchanting story of love and beauty."

    A delightful story covering several generations. A tale woven around Orchids. From start to finish I was transfixed (I did a lot of house sorting out and cleaning and sewing repairs as I wanted to continue to listen).

    I loved the sudden extra plot near the end of the book, very well done.

    Anyone who wants a good gentle story really needs to get this book. Little bit of history too of the far east and of caring for Orchids.

    Well done Lucinda Riley and beautifully read by Ruth Chalmers.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • J
    Brighton, United Kingdom
    2/21/12
    Overall
    "Hothouse Flower"

    This is a sweet and romantic story.

    I do not recommend listening to this book in this unabridged 18 hour version. The plot is not a dense one and does not merit such a long narrative. It bored me and I longed to be able to skip forward through pages like you can with a book. I worked out the big denouement of the plot very early on and hung on in the anticipation that I might be wrong. I wasn't. There was one minor surprise in the plot, and the end was hard to believe, but the main plot was very predictable.
    I found Beth Chalmers' narration a bit tedious, as she gave many of the characters the same nasally posh voice.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Janice
    Cape Town, South Africa
    4/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too Predictable"

    A nice idea but the characters were constrained by the storyline, instead of the other way around. They should have been driving a more engrossing plot. This was predictable, for the most part, though well narrated.
    Not a favourite for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kathy
    2/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good listen - in the main"

    I enjoyed this audio book very much, the story moved at a good pace with lots of interesting locations, characters and storyline with twists and turns
    I did however find some of the "voices" of the narrator very irritating and initially this interfered quite a lot with how I "got into" the story, so much so that I wondered whether or not to continue.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emma
    Heysham, United Kingdom
    12/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great "read""

    Different to my usual thriller book but kept me listening. Well worth a listen with lots of little twists and turns and an essence of history and travel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amy
    Kilkenny, Ireland
    7/2/12
    Overall
    "A really nice book"

    I really enjoyed this audiobook. I would have given it 5 stars but I reserve that for my fave fave books. There are twists in the story yet it has a reassuring plot that lets you empathise with the characters to make a really thoughtful good story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fiona
    4/14/12
    Overall
    "From debutantes to Thailand"

    I really enjoyed this book, there were a few contrasting themes running through it but I think the author had a great empathy with them all. Narrator did a good job with such a variety of characters. Nicely tied up in the ending. Don't hesitate to download this.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Veronica
    5/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it hard to stop listening and looked forward to resuming whenever I found the time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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