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The Disorder of Longing
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The Disorder of Longing

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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  28 reviews
When her husband arrives home carrying a crate of colorful orchids, Ada Caswell Pryce thinks he is bringing her a gift, a peace offering during an unhappy time in their marriage; little does she know how much these strange looking flowers are going to change her life.
By Boston standards of the 1890's, Ada is not a good wife. Strong-willed and beautiful, she longs for the
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ebook, 432 pages
Published June 12th 2008 by Putnam Adult (first published 2008)
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April
I like the story, and ending was good. But I was a little uncomfortable through out the book...the sexual content was a bit too much for me. And although I idenified with the character some, I found it frustrating.
Abigail Padgett
This is a novel about sex. Well, orgasm, really. The female orgasm, and that as it was viewed in the heyday of late Victorian extremism. The plot unfurls in Boston, where the protagonist, Ada, marries wealthy Edward Pryce after being one of a handful of women allowed to attend and graduate from Boston University, where she is peripherally involved with feminist ideology and attends meetings with the Blackwell Sisters. Ada’s mother, a Boston Brahmin (unusually spelled throughout the novel for som ...more
Dakota
I very much loved this book. At first, I didn't care much for it. Ada seemed overly sexual and the story moved slowly, but Ada's development was interesting, complex, and powerful. The societal rules and expectations of a woman's sexuality were both intriguing and disturbing and the comparisons between Victorian America and Brazil were colorful and fun to read about. By the time I finished the novel, I was happy with the ending and wishing there had been just a few more pages. A truly powerful n ...more
Carol
o 01/03/09 – 2- This was from the ‘I’ll Take Romance’ stand. After a ¼ of the way through, I could not bring myself to finish it.
Megan
Part I was in some respects too overtly sexual and Ada's mindset seemed as restless and as movable as her sexual desires. This made it at once easy to identify with such a ranging array of characteristics, but mostly more difficult to integrate a protagonist that was so constantly changing with no disernable self. However, his scatter-shot devolepment is expertly countered by Part II in which Ada flourishes spiritually in senusous South America, making the inexpertise and inresovlable nature of ...more
Amber
This book had a lot of potential.
I'll admit, the quality of the book material attracted me at first.
The hardbound I have is beautiful, intricate pictures and font printed upon feathered paper.
The first half of the book was compelling, the idea of going against the norm always makes an interesting story. But I was disappointed by the last few chapters. I felt that after the husband's confessional threat to power and aggression, the ending was rushed and not much of a conclusion or solution to it
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Cathleen
A great book with surprising twists.
Kathy
Interesting of several levels for me because 1) i love orchids, 2)the tribulation of Victorian era women is fascinating to my feminist side, and 3)part of it takes place in Bahia, Brasil where I spent time over 30 yrs ago. If any of these things interest you, pick this one up. Its also a good story. Would make a GREAT MOVIE....adventure, love, sex, exotic and contrasting locales, with a great female lead and some excellent male roles too.
Beth
A Victorian/contemporary mix. Orchid hunting, wife imprisonment & torture, adventure & flawless character portrayal, fascinating story line & pretty prose. These are all of the elements that I look for in a novel of historical fiction. This is a lovely piece of literature. I would pair it with Elaine di Rollo's A Proper Education for Girls as two gems for the women's literature/historical fiction reader.
Rissa1516
I liked this book overall. I did learn a thing or two about orchids. The beginning of the book I felt was a little slow and I didn't feel the need to keep reading and keep turning the pages to find out what happens. I think people can figure out what is going to happen by the description the book gives and I think the beginning is drawn out. The end I thought was more of a page turner and more exciting.
Shana
I initially picked up The Disorder of Longing, by Natasha Bauman, because the book flap mentioned hysteria, and that’s a topic that will soon come up in my Abnormal Psych course. After reading this novel though, I can say that it took me for turns I was not prepared to take and for that reason I enjoyed it. Perhaps after my next class I will have more to say on this topic…
Jess
I admit that I stuck with this book-which was a bit tedious at first, because I was snow-bound and had little choice. But then I realized that the tedium was on purpose because it was exactly that life that Ada wanted to escape from. When she does escape, it's like a whole other book and I much enjoyed the second half.
Trevor
Jan 19, 2008 Trevor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Crimson Petal and the White or Slammerkin
The heroine, Ada Pryce, is memorable. Bauman's characters are rich and complex. Very well-researched and evocative, especially concerning the role of women in the Victorian era. If you're into historical fiction, this book is for you. Did I mention there's sex, too?
Hollis
The story of an adventurous, sensuous woman who finds a way to escape from an age and society where women's lives are constrained and limited. It's a beautiful story, with wonderful language and imagery that gets inside your veins
Racquel
Fascinating to learn something about the orchid hunters and Bostonian collectors of the late 19th century, but the style was a bit heated - perhaps meant to evoke the time but coming off a bit too much like a period romance novel.
Megan
I really liked this book. It was fun learning about the flowers and I loved the adventure of Ada's life. She was a strong willed woman in a time when women were just supposed to sit and look pretty. I highly recommend this book.
Sasha Strader
Aug 26, 2011 Sasha Strader rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brittany, Cathy
Shelves: fantastic, fiction
AGGGH! I want to pull my hair out: what happened with Jao?!?!

Beyond that, though, this book was brilliant. Such a deep insight into what it might have been like to be an independent-minded woman at the time.
Katie Granger
I really find myself going back to this book. It was something I picked up in the bargain bin in a grocery store and started reading because I was bored, but I never thought that it would make such an impact on me.
Lynn Peterson
Very different type of book than I was used to but somehow sucked me in and I really enjoyed the journey of reading it . . . and thankful that I am a woman today and not when this book is based.
Collsells
I really liked this book and the spirit of the main character. She just wasn't going conform and I love it! I also am fond of it because it took place in Boston and that's my home.
Raina
Far too stiffly written to do the potentially interesting plotline justice. Lacks depth, especially in description. Some interesting thoughts about the role of gender.
Theresa
There were some good parts but you had to get through some tedious details to get there and the ending was a bit blah considering all the excitement to get there.
Lilyane
An exquisitely written book, full of longing and despair -an apt description of most highly situated Victorian women. Truly a must-read.

Krysia
Aug 18, 2008 Krysia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: book clubs, fans of Sarah Waters and Michael Faber
Very well-researched historical novel about nineteenth-century Boston and a courageous New Woman.
Molly
Liked it, didn't love it. Interesting story, but not superb writing style.
Jessica Vought
Well written but the story didn't hold much of my interest.
Louise  Tessier
Louise Tessier marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2015
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Desire for rare orchids inspires the dangerous obsessions of a young wife and her repressive husband in Victorian-era Boston.

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“Just think," she said, "the Antarctic is a world away, but the ocean here in front of us reaches all the way down there. We could board a ship and sail across this very sea to reach it. Perhaps the water in front of us now was lapping up against the shores of the Antarctic at this time last year." He looked at her without speaking. "What I am trying to say is, it makes the world seem so small." She didn't know how to say it to him, or even to herself, but what she meant was that it was all so vast, and yet even the smallest bits of matter, even invisible atoms, could cover the vastness, could claim both here and the place that was a world away. "It makes me feel small and yet eternal at the same time.” 1 likes
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