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A Reader of Fictions: Summer 78 - Yann Tiersen

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Summer 78 - Yann Tiersen

The Orchid House

Author: Lucinda Riley
Pages: 447
ARC Acquired from: Atria Books via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Since the tragic deaths of her husband and son in a car crash, Julia has lost herself, barely surviving day by day. Her career as a pianist is on hold indefinitely, and she avoids her well-meaning family members. When she learns that Wharton Park, the estate of the Crawfords, is for sale, she becomes drawn into an investigation of the past. Her grandparents, Bill and Elsie, worked for the Crawfords during the WWII era. By learning the secrets of the past, Julia is slowly able to face the future.

Review:
What an incredibly beautiful story. The lyrical language caught me from the very beginning. Lucinda Riley's novel is impressive, weaving together a tale that spans decades and continents.

Julia, at first, is not the most likable character; she is too lost in her depression, the cause of which you do not know for a while, to be too understandable, at least to someone lacking such an experience. She is actually rather rude to her well meaning family members, pushing away those that would help. But, as she becomes enthralled by the glimpses into the past, she begins to open up, like an orchid perhaps, revealing the bright spirit underneath.

Riley's novel champions love. She definitely seems to believe that real love is out there. However, she also clearly knows that love does not always win out. In fact, love may lose more often than not. Many romances end in tragedy, due to bad timing or a lack of reciprocation. She points out too how passion can blind one, and that love might be more calm than exciting. The variations of love felt by the characters is touching and inspirational and sad.

The historical fiction sections were completely fascinating, not that the modern ones were not. I know absolutely nothing about the WWII occurrences in Thailand. My favorite thing about historical fiction is learning things I previously didn't know. I may need to research this. Also, I now really want to go to Thailand and swim in the ocean.

If you like well-written fiction, do not miss this. Also, this might appeal to Downton Abbey fans. Speaking of Downton, both seasons just arrived in the mail. So excited!!!

Rating: 5/5

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