You can’t help but be wowed by this gorgeous cover. Lucinda Riley has written a sprawling novel of love, war, and redemption. THE ORCHID HOUSE will take you by surprise. And you won’t want to put it down.
Julia Crawford is reeling with an unbelievable grief. She’s just lost her husband and her young son to a horrible auto accident. Julia is feeling tragically guilty as she was away playing a concert the night in question. You see, Julia is a concert pianist. She has inherited this gift from her grandfather Harry.
The story begins in 1930 in England when Harry marries Olivia to suit his mother. After all, he is expected to bring an heir into the family and he is off to fight the war. This, on the eve of WWII. Olivia is left behind to take care of the estate. But while Harry is away for years, the estate begins to suffer even with the stellar care Olivia takes.
War is awful. In every way. People change. Lives are lost, loves are lost, and loves are found. Secrets are kept. And people go on. Hearts are broken.
I found this novel extremely compelling. There were times I felt it a bit trite. At first, I was even thinking it a bit GONE WITH THE WIND British style. Things like too many “darling girls” almost made me choke. But I loved the story. Talk about weak men. And strong women. This novel has its fill of both. And the exotic locale of Thailand is beautifully mapped out. I am still reeling from the scenes of the mountain vistas, rare orchids, and lovely beaches. And latter parts of the book take place in the south of France. More lovely vistas and local color.
I love a story full of secrets. To see this story unfurl makes you feel as if you have been given a key to a treasure chest. One secret begets another and another. They just keep on going.
In the end, redemption is done. And I was left with a good feeling. I found myself shedding a tear or two. And will think about this story for some time to come.
I borrowed this book from a friend. It is published by Atria which is a division of Simon & Schuster. The format is trade paper and it is 445 pages.