Book Review: Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley

Hothouse Flower* by Lucinda Riley

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…


Aside from the cheesy cover art which does this book no justice whatsoever, I was definitely not disappointed with this fantastic story. Other reviews have dubbed it cliche, but I would disagree – the story line was intriguing and compelling and kept me hooked the entire time.

I’d previously been lent another novel by Lucinda Riley – The Midnight Rose, and really enjoyed that one, but this was even better.

The storyline was passionately written with many twists that entwine both stories together in unexpected ways. It highlights the ways we are powerless, or allow ourselves to be powerless in the course of our lives, instead settling for less or settling for what we believe we should do rather than what we know is what we really want. There are beautiful descriptions of Thailand, and heart wrenching insights into someone who has lost everything.

A wonderful read that will keep you page turning from beginning to end.

Rating: 8.5/10

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*Hothouse Flower was republished as The Orchid House in 2012 – how confusing!