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Mini-Review – Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire

Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire
by Margot Berwin
288 pages
Published June 16, 2009

I read Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire for a panel I was moderating, and let me tell you, I never in a million years would have picked this book up but it ended up being a Top 10 favorite in 2009.

Okay, so here’s the synopsis: Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire is about Lila Nova, a recently divorced woman, who on a late night walk, discovers a laundromat that doubles as a greenhouse. Lila gets to know the owner, Armand, who is growing extremely rare plants. He takes her under his wing, but in the meantime she meets a gardener, David, who steals her heart. Her loyalty is torn, and she ultimately betrays Armand by telling David about what Armand has hidden in a room in the laundromat. Lila has to travel to the rain forests of Mexico to right the wrong she created. Got it? Good, now for the fun part.

I have never read a book this fun or this humorous. Humor in writing is completely lost on me, which is weird since I think I have a pretty good sense of humor. But whatever! I’ve never laughed out loud while reading, but I did while reading this book. I would stop reading to soak in the story and the humor and bizarre situation that Lila always found herself in.

There’s a little blurb at the beginning of each chapter that tells about a particular plant or something or other that Lila might encounter. Here’s a blurb at the beginning of one of the chapters. It’s entitled, “Scorpions”.

Disgusting as it may seem, there are over two thousand species of scorpion. Most varieties have a claw and three to four sets of usable walking-legs. To make matters worse, the venom of the scorpion, which appears to come from its tail, actually comes out of its anus. Male scorpions court females by doing a dance called the “promenade à deux.” After this dance, the male kisses the female and at the same time injects a tiny bit of venom into her mouth, just enough to paralyze her for a short time, so he can have sex with her. I don’t know about you, but this scenario sounds a lot like a guy dropping a bit of Rohypnol into his date’s drink at a bar. Men are all the same. Women, on the other hand, are not all the same, and when two scorpions are finished mating and the venom has worn off, the male must leave quickly or the female will set a plate and eat him for dinner.

Armand is a character that you won’t soon forget. He’s the perfect mixture of mentor, friend, and father. He has a dry sense of humor and he’s rather eccentric. He took the story to the next level.

I can’t say enough good things about Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire. I loved it, it’s going into my permanent collection, and I think you should make sure you buy a copy today.

Rating: 95 out of 100

Other reviews:

The Book Maven (she loved it too!)

Book source: I received this book to prep for the panel I moderated.

And one more thing? If you click on one of the Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire links and buy something from Amazon, I’ll make a commission! Mwahahahaha!! Maybe with the pennies I make I’ll be able to call someone who cares.

You can thank the FTC for this disclosure!

| Tags: 11 comments »

11 Responses to “Mini-Review – Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire”

  1. S. Krishna

    I went out and got this book based on your recommendation way back when! I still haven’t read it, but really want to.


  2. Lisa

    Wow! I wouldn’t have picked this up from the description. But something that is that humorous? Now that intrigues me. It really is rare to find a book that can make you laugh out loud.


  3. bermudaonion (Kathy)

    I don’t think I would have picked that one up either! Thanks for the recommendation.


  4. zibilee

    A book seller at the local indie store tried to hand sell this book to me, but I didn’t take him up on his offer and bought The Help instead. I am sorry now that I passed it up because I have been hearing great things about it. Glad you liked it so much and now I have to run along and get my own copy! Great review!


  5. diane

    Sounds great Trish. I had been eying this one for a while, so now it is a must-read. Your review was great.


  6. Emily

    You have to stop posting such great reviews! My “to read” pile is growing rapidly, and lately it’s been all your fault!

    Thanks, actually 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading this one.


  7. Kate

    Good job, Trish. It is very hard these days to find some good readings which can make you laugh. I may just miss out on this nice book without stumbling upon this post. Thanks.


  8. Darlene

    This has been in my tbr pile for ages. Looks like I should pick it up soon. Great review.


  9. Beth F

    Oh wow, I like the sound of this one! I just read a bug book for work, so I know about those nasty scorpions. I am going to have to add this one to my list.


  10. nat @book, line, and sinker

    i love the excerpt you included–so funny! i’m a huge fan of humor in books and will make a point of picking this one up. you didn’t steer me wrong with ‘the hunger games’ so i’ll always trust your book reviews. 🙂


  11. Julie

    Thanks for the review – picked this up at the library yesterday. Can’t wait to read it!


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