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Hothouse Flower

Narrated by: Beth Chalmers
Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (348 ratings)
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Summary

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

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • Isle of Man, United Kingdom
  • 26-02-12

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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?

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 21-02-12

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Standard romance novel

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,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • Kilkenny, Ireland
  • 02-07-12

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 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cindy
  • 24-03-15

what a lovely story

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • alison
  • 17-02-15

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 09-09-15

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lucy
  • 18-05-15

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • alison
  • 04-03-13

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 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Staci G
  • 24-10-18

Beautiful story

Absolutely loved this story. As much as I enjoyed her book The Love Letter, I believe I liked this one even more. The rich history of 70 years comes alive in these characters. It is long, but I wouldn’t have done away with any part of it. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Liz Andersson
  • 27-04-18

Nasally irritating voices!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I am just on chapter 5 of the book and find the story interesting enough to let me go on. But the narrator's nasal voice is sooo irritating and she uses this for all characters male or female except for Julia. That's why I decided to read the reviews and was correct about the narration.
Oh well, I will have to endure it and finish listening to the book!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Pearl_78
  • 12-04-18

NOT her best book - boring, slow and repetitive

NOT her best book - boring and repetitive and too simple character building. I like a lot of her other books, but NOT this one!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • 26-03-18

My favorite Lucinda Riley book!

I️ have become quite a fan of Lucinda Riley’s writing and now have read all her books. They are all brilliant, but this is my favorite! A book that can weave a story so masterfully and stir every emotion so effectively is worth every minute invested in reading or listening to it. What a beautiful story, and what a beautiful journey into foreign lands. I always finish her books with a desire to travel and explore the places the story takes place. She makes it all come alive! Definitely an experience I didn’t want to end!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • carina
  • 14-03-18

Worth Five Stars

Intergenerational saga that captures the reader through the characters.
Orchids and Thailand (Siam) and an English Lord's family. Traditions that cannot be broken.
Aristocracy and common gardener. The two should never mix, except that they do in a most interesting tale through generations.
This is another Lucinda Riley favorite. One to listen to again.