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The Orchid House

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  24,173 ratings  ·  1,941 reviews

For fans of The House at Riverton and Rebecca—a debut spanning from the 1930s to the present day, from a magnificent estate in war-torn England to Thailand, this sweeping novel tells the tale of a concert pianist, Julia, and the prominent Crawford family whose shocking secrets are revealed, leading to devastating consequences for generations to come.

As a child Julia Forre
Paperback, 449 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Atria Books (first published November 25th 2010)
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Camila I am a bit late answering this, but some may still be interested. To read it over multiple days during Christmas rather than reading it occasionally, …moreI am a bit late answering this, but some may still be interested. To read it over multiple days during Christmas rather than reading it occasionally, gave me a much better experience of the book. I could reflect more on what I was reading and enjoy the language without interruptions of daily life.(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,173 ratings  ·  1,941 reviews

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Jul 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-sagas
This was so much crap! Bullshit at its best, to be precise. Seriously, I expected so much from this book, like a great family saga, with some romance and some interesting plot. And in the end, I didn't get anything but crap!

I mean the prologue was kinda great and I thought, OMG, this book has to fantastic. I was SO wrong. After the prologue the whole story goes down the drain and only consists of stupid and blunt characters that are all so very annoying and not likeable at all. Plus, they don't
Tanja Berg
Aug 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is so bad it is a shame to the written word. I cannot believe I read through 577 pages of clichées, stick figures, stupid plot and uninteresting intrigue. I should have left it at page 80, with "Oh Julia, I'll never forget until my dying day, the moment I walked into that Magnolia bedroom and saw her for the first time". That should have been a hint that there were only worse things to come.

The story is that of Julia, who is in deep morning after the loss of husband and child. She's b
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
I've read a lot of contemporary chick lit in my day, I only wished I had saved myself the time and money and had just gone straight to reading The Orchid House instead, since the author kindly read all those books for me, and then conveniently condensed every single modern-woman literature trope into one book. Elin Hildebrand? Audrey Niffenegger? Kristin Hannah? Nah. Save yourself hundreds of books and hundreds of dollars, you will find them all condensed here.

Let's see, off the top of my head,
Meg - A Bookish Affair
On the whole, I really liked this book. I questioned a couple things (I'll get into that) but as a whole, I really liked this historical fiction book.

Julia has just suffered a great loss in her life and has gone back to see her grandmother who begins telling her stories of the people who once lived in a great house where Julia's grandmother worked. As with many of these stories that take place in two time periods, I liked the old one a lot better.

I loved seeing how the mystery of Julia's famil
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh, x2012
Lucinda Riley's endings are disgustingly cheesy, with everything being more than a little too perfect. Especially her characters. Here with her famous pianist (tormented by recent loss), and recently with her extremely gifted artist (tormented by recent loss) and ballerinas (also tormented by recent loss) of "The Girl on the Cliff". Riley clearly lives in a dream where all the good people get to live off of their art. She's part of a wave of authors that I feel are generally trying to be Kate Mo ...more
Aug 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Book was displayed in a bookstore as "for fans of Downton Abbey" - I've never watched the show but everyone has told me I'll love it.

In this case, I regret wasting my time. I feel like a fool because I kept slogging on until the end, despite early and plentiful signs that it wasn't going to be what I hoped; I admit I was interested enough in the plot to just read a little further... a little further... But it just could have been so much better.

Characters just never come alive and are hard to c
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is worth noting that Hothouse Flower was republished in 2012 with the title of The Orchid House just so that any confusion with readers thinking it might be a different story, when this is not the case are cleared up straight away. Although the central theme of a family saga set in a country house spanning from the 1930's to the present day is far from an original one, this one is different. It has such a multi layered story to tell us with so many stirring and compelling love stories, secret ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. It has all the elements of a fantastic novel—history, family secrets, nobility, plot twists. Sadly, the writing ruined it. The story is overwritten, and the dialogue is just dreadful. 
I would have rated this book 3.5 stars, if half stars were allowed on Goodreads.

There is truth about the old adage, "less is more". I was happily reading along when one extra twist in the story punted it firmly into the realm of melodrama. Unfortunately, there were a couple more twists to come. Lucinda Riley, you were doing just fine until you started to embellish too much.

The story had promise. I loved the fable told at the beginning of the novel and how it played out throughout the story. Whi
Mel Usack
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5. Very predictable. Horrible dialog. Velly?!?!? And the word "darling" was used 122 times ... ...more
May 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a firm believer in 'to each his own', but I have to say I'm shocked at how many people liked this book/how many people missed the huge story/character flaws I saw. This book was a combo of hack writing, cliche, & predictability-& trite to a fault. Here's my TOP 10 LIST of issues w the book:
1) Harry Crawford doesn't know if he's homosexual or not. He thinks he may be because he formed an affection for a classmate at school and he likes to play the piano and read poetry. Seriously??? These are
Ava Catherine
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, 2013
I love these lines from the book: We are sharing a moment in time. Like the universe, there is no beginning or end. We just are.
This is what Kit told Julia when they were at Wharton Park looking at the stars and everything seemed to be perfect for them. Of course, Julia was still grieving for her son and husband, but Kit was helping her.

Then she found out that Xavier had done something terrible, and it sent her reeling, causing her to wonder if she and Kit could ever make it together. Then a tr
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
What better way to heal from a tragedy than to go back to a time and a place when life was good. Julia had lost her husband and her son in a tragic accident in France and decided to return to England to begin healing and to begin re-acquainting herself with her family.

Julia was having a difficult time with her grief, but luck came her way one day when she was given a diary that belonged to her grandfather.

The diary had been found under the floorboards in one of the cottages on the Crawford esta
Jaime Boler
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy (Random House; 304 pages; $23).
The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley (Simon and Schuster; 464 pages; $15).

Over the past few years, the book world has witnessed a rising trend in which a present-day protagonist, grappling with her own problems, stumbles upon an intriguing past mystery. Only when she solves the puzzle can she then tackle what is wrong in her own life. Curiously, many of said novels have ties to World War II. Recent notable books in this genre are T
This is a hard book to rate. I really enjoyed the beginning & reading about Julia's story (as well as her sister Alicia & Kit). I felt like this book was a bit too long (50 pages or so) & the end kind of threw me, very random plot twist that felt strange. Olivia's story - break my heart why don't you? :'''''( And Harry....Dude! Really? Really!!? There is alot going on in this book. ...more
Jess The Bookworm
2.5 stars.

This is an inter-generational drama based at an old estate in England, following the families who live there.

Julia has just suffered a tragedy and is back in England trying to piece her life together. She starts digging into the history of the estate where her family lived as the gardener and lady's maid. She uncovers a story from World War 2 when the heir to the manor, Harry, was held as a prisoner of war and then ended up in Hong Kong in recovery.

This is a story of tragedy, forbidd
Carla Ford
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful novel is an exploration of the many ways in which we are powerless, or allow ourselves to be powerless, to change the course our lives take. Sometime we have to go a certain direction out of family obligation, or we get started on a path where it is just too hard to turn back. Sometime we turn a blind eye to reality, and live in a world of not quite reality because we are afraid to face the truth. Sometimes we really have no choices, and we do the best we can with what life hands ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, this was a wallbanger for me, and I only made it less than 100 pages in. Started it with such high hopes (beautiful cover, great blurb), when I got to where one sister is telling the other how old she is and about her house, dogs, husband and kids I thought 'hmmm, not sure her sister needs to be TOLD how old she (her sister) is', but gave it the benefit of the doubt. A few pages later I got to where the same sister prefaces a conversation with her father (amid an improbably perfect domest ...more
Dzenana Brkic
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful book of the genre that I really like. Two stories that are going on in the same time, one happening in the past, another now, in the present. Destinies that are connected in some way, and people who all have some relationship with each other. I enjoy these type of books, never have enough of them. They always show that, no matter what happened in the past, and no matter how much people suffered through a set of bad circumstances, present is here to bring us a better future and ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book xx
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lifechanging
After reading a book that opened up parts of my emotions I had closed off, I now find myself yearning for more. I couldn´t go back to books were sensible to read. My emotions needed to be heard, the full spectrum of them.
Standing in the bookstore, scanning the shelves for something to inspire me, I finally gave up, and asked the salesperson for something similar that I´d read, when my eyes noticed the cover of "The Orchid House", and the excerpt that they gave away for free. I started reading,
Missy J
Complete utter bullshit.

I was hesitant to read this book. The first five reviews of this book on Goodreads gave it very low ratings. But due to my book club loyalty, this book was chosen for our visit to "Thailand." I thought I would give this book a chance, because I love Thai food.

However, this book was a complete waste of time. Don't read this.
Unless you like reading melodramatic, predictable stories with stereotypical characters (the gay-not-so-gay husband; the docile Asian people; the arro
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
The Orchid House is set on two continents, covers three generations, and has interesting entanglements between two families who both hail from an English country estate. The author has complicated relationships betwixt the families and draws interesting parallels between generations. While the foreshadowing of events lacked subtlety, I still found it to have an engaging story line. The dialog was definitely not reflective of how anyone I know actually speaks, but, I thought, perhaps this is how ...more
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
3.5 Stars. So tragic! But I really enjoyed the surprise ending and how it all wrapped up.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
I ended up liking the characters and plot of this book more than I expected when I started reading. The book jumps back and forth between the present and recollections from two generations back and deftly spins a story that reveals hidden connections, secrets, and parallels between many of the characters. There are repeated themes of dealing with the grief of losing loved ones, the conflict between love and duty, and the strong bond of family. The settings are lovely, featuring an English countr ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this is the first lucinda riley book i've read that i haven't loved. i know her stories are normally very far fetched, by this book was something else. i felt like there was a new life changing plot twist/event every 20 pages or so, and it actually became quite funny counting all the melodramatic events that occured throughout this book. i found it very entertaining/amusing, but definitely not in the way lucinda riley was intending. it was just ridiculous, without a hint of subtlety - especially ...more
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's a very nice story. It was nice to experience the different perspectives, times and places. I liked that the flashbacks were so extensive like complete stories on their own and not just obvious narratives. This kept the story diverse and interesting.

I'm not sure what to think about the "great twist". This was a bit too much of a "coincidence" for me. Although, however, it was generally ok that it occurred at all. (Sounds a bit messy but I don't want to spoil anything) And eventually it all
I have great affection for cheesy, obvious, overwrought melodramatic sagas that span multiple eras and locales, but I nearly reached my threshold with this one. The eyeroll factor is moderate to severe. At the same time, who am I kidding, I still felt very compelled to finish it out and had a good time doing so, so 3.5 stars for that.
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Obsessed: January 2017: The Orchid House 11 27 Feb 24, 2017 08:18PM  
Book Obssessed~Looking for New Members 1 9 Dec 22, 2016 12:58AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Feb 14, 2015 10:35AM  
Too long a road 5 83 Mar 23, 2014 01:04AM  
misleading... 2 47 Mar 21, 2014 10:34PM  
dialogue in The Orchid House 1 29 Nov 26, 2013 02:32PM  

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AKA: Lucinda Edmonds
Lucinda Riley was born in Northern Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and sold thirty million copies worldwide. She is a No.1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Lucinda’s The Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopt

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One of the great pleasures of historical fiction is the time-travel element. In the hands of a skilled author, works of historical fiction can...
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“Because -' she looked up at Bill and gave him a smile that lit up her face, granting him a sudden flash of her true beauty - 'love never die, Mister Bill. It never die.” 8 likes
“Julia played for them: for her husband and her beloved son. And tried to believe somewhere in her heart that, wherever they were, they could hear her.” 5 likes
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