A heart-rending novel that 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, when 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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was an OK listen, so I finished it but the plot seemed a little contrived while also being fairly predictable. It tugs at the heart strings but is not poignant,
Love audiobooks, all different genres. Nothing more relaxing than a bath, wine and audiobook!
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.
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.
"what a lovely story"
I followed the story easily and learned to love the characters. just splendid. go on and purchase.
"A long, slow joirney.."
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.
This could possibley have been done over two books, or maybe settle for less is more in terms of storyline twists.
Not sure that I particularly liked the narration style.
Julia was the stand out character, with the others revolving around her in some way.
A long haul for an audio book, but overall nice story.
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.
"Life's Too Short"
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.
Her style is not to my liking, so no.
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.
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."
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.
It is one of the most beautiful stories I have read so the story ranks very high. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it rather than listened to the audible version.
The time spent in Bangkok between Harry and Lydia
No, I did not like "some" of her voices, mainly her voices for the male characters. I liked her voices for female characters. Would have been better if she had shared the narration with a man.
The Black Orchid
Again, I loved Lucinda Riley's beautifully woven story.
An intricately woven tail of a family and the effects of love. A delightful read, with never a dull moment!
Loved it. Great story...twists and surprises. The narrator does well also. I just want to listen to it again .
"Another great one!"
Another beautiful book from mrs Riley. With one little issue though. Now used to jump from one period in time with different characters, to another, I had difficulties remembering the previous one... nevertheless I found myself transported to another place which is the essence of a great book. I can not wait to download "the Italian girl" , only book from mrs Riley I haven't read.
Awesome story. Hurray for Lucinda Riley. Once again she has given us an unforgettable story of love.
"Very Happy Surprise!"
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.
All of the different stories that were interwoven. And also the beautiful description of Thailand.
No, see above.
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.
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