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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 listeners say about Hothouse Flower

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!

I enjoyed the story and all the twists and turns. I think she is an excellent author that can tell a very detailed and captivating story.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Good story

I have enjoyed all of Lucinda Riley’s books and eagerly await the next one! I do have to say that the attitude about adopted children sometimes not being considered “real” relatives bothered me, though.

1 person found this helpful

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awesome read

This was hard to put down I could not wait to get back to it. Like most of her books it starts slow but I know if I persever it will pay off and this one does not disappoint.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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!!!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathy
  • 02-23-15

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.


21 people found this helpful

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  • Coco
  • 05-27-13

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?

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen
  • 02-26-12

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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 02-21-12

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.

14 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Sue Jackson
  • Sue Jackson
  • 01-30-16

Can't get into it!

What would have made Hothouse Flower better?

Losing some of the irritating voices.

What was most disappointing about Lucinda Riley’s story?

Just couldn't gel with characters, too gentle I guess for me.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Beth Chalmers?

Yes

What character would you cut from Hothouse Flower?

Didn't capture my interest long enough to find out.

Any additional comments?

No.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-20-15

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.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Ponsonby
  • 02-09-14

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joyce Hudson
  • 07-02-12

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fiona
  • 04-14-12

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • John Glass
  • 07-18-21

Excellent…but

An amazing listen and I would have given it 5 stars except for the fact that this author, like so many others who treat other religions with respect, treat Christianity with contempt by continually using ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ as swear words.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Esther Juon Veitch
  • 09-10-16

A stunning book

Beautifully written and it has taken me to England France and Thailand. I will listen to it again right now...such a moving story!
Wonderful thank you!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-04-21

Such a beautiful story, l didn't want it to end.

Such a beautiful story, so many twists and written with so much depth and narrated so well, l loved every minute and was sad for it to end.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Randelle McClure
  • 10-11-21

Very Enjoyable

Another lovely book by Lucinda Riley, only criticism was a one of the voices was a bit grating on the senses, other than that...great!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • carol
  • 08-07-17

Most enjoyable

A complicated but intriguing story line. The descriptions of scenery and the Thai culture are accurate and the characters believable.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-26-22

One of my favourites

I loved this book, one of my favourites by Lucinda Riley.
She had a real talent of telling a story over different timelines and bringing it together so seamlessly.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-11-22

So disappointing

Could not distinguish between male and female voices which was most annoying. Could not like many of the characters and their self serving behaviour. Too much padding Alice's story totally unnecessary. Have liked this writers work in he past but won't be going back any time soon

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lyndy Lou
  • 04-03-22

Fabulous Writing

Full of twists and unexpected turns all the way through the book. So much emotion!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-17-21

Loved it

All the amazing twists and turns kept me very well entertained. And to end on such a perfect note was blissful. Absolutely loved it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-21

Fabulous

This is the second book I've listened by Lucinda Riley & loved every word.Than you

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-21

loved it

Again Lucia has woven together a beautiful story. just have to push past the odd fairytail at the very beginning but it doesn't last long.