Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review by Shellie: Hothouse Flower ~ by Margot Berwin



A “trip” into the realistic yet magical where an urbanite discovers herself in the rain forest of Mexico. It’s city girl goes jungle Jane with consciousness altering plants.

About:  Lila is from NYC. She is in her thirties and cynical as well as wounded from her recent divorce. She has sworn off men and most attachments - “no pets, no  plants, no people, no problems”.  However she breaks her rule when she decides to buy herself a bird of paradise plant from the hunky greenery vendor around the corner from her studio. This starts her adventures and discovery about the mythical 9 plants of desire.

This humorous story, with its self- depreciating main character, takes the reader to the rain forests of Mexico. Where Lila is propelled by her quirky yet mystically oriented friend Armand to search for the illusive plants in order to repay a debt. As they enter into foreign territory into a place where fantastical elements are the norm, Lila herself makes a mildly hallucinogenic ride into self discovery and more.

Thoughts:  Funny, fluffy and a very easy read, it was a needed break from the heavier stuff I have been recently reading. It was a foray into the magical. A chick lit escapist read with some mild romance which includes a gorgeous Huichol Indian from the mountains of Mexico.

As Lila gets to know these plants with their anthropomorphic attributes, we get an interesting mix of fact and fun fiction about each, where all of the short chapters are headed with a plant (and a few critters) and their description. I think my favorite section was on the chocolate plant, native to Southern America, where the author includes a recipe on how to make chocolate from the actual pods. Fun stuff!

I think this book will be perfect for any woman recovering from a recent break up or for anyone needing a light yet magical read. My mom is going to love this book being a plant person extraordinaire – me, the black thumb of the family killing cactus in the desert, enjoyed it just as much. I even found a few new books to add to my tbr list within the text of the novel - The Sheltering Sky by Philip Bowles and one by Carlos Castaneda. I love that. I give this fun book 3.5 stars. It was a blast.

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