Monday, 8 February 2016

Review: The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

The Forbidden Orchid
by Sharon Biggs Waller
Publisher: Viking
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 432
Release Date: March 8th, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls' father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China.

Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors' prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie's father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family—and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China.

But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?

"My father was a plant hunter - an adventurer -and I saw little of him my first fourteen years, even less the next two, but after I turned seventeen he became my whole world." 

 The synopsis for The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller does not do this book any justice (nor does the cover, although very pretty). As the first Sharon Biggs Waller title I've read (yes, I completely missed out on reading A Mad, Wicked Folly), I wasn't quite sure what to expect from her latest historical fiction title. Would the settings work well for me? Would Elodie be enough to grasp me? The answer, cupcakes - YES!

"I thought about happy things. I tried to think of home, of my sisters and my mother and my conservatory, but instead thought about a jungle full of orchids, mountains of tea, and a Russian boy named Alex. And I slept."

The Forbidden Orchid was absolutely wonderful! Although it's pace was unhurried and gradual, I thoroughly enjoyed Sharon's development of each character involved. I also adored the changes in scenery and setting, and felt it was exciting, interesting, and refreshing. I simply adored Elodie Buchanan. Not a character I initially thought I'd enjoy, Elodie turned into a confident, inspiring, and fierce protagonist, perfect for any younger reader to aspire.

Sharon Biggs Waller's latest, The Forbidden Orchid, was an absolute surprise! I was fully engaged in Elodie's adventure, the wonderful characters she met, and the exciting world of a plant hunter.

5 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.


  1. Hannah Carmichael8 February 2016 at 10:11

    A beautiful cover and interesting synopsis. I agree to your points. I don't feel the cover has anything to do with the synopsis. However The Forbidden Orchid sounds like it was a good read for you. Thank you for reviewing.

  2. Great review!

  3. Katherine Pinacho8 February 2016 at 10:32

    Wendy, please read A Mad, Wicked Folly. It was pretty good! And also thank you for the early review on The Forbidden Orchid, I was hoping this would be good.

  4. Wonderful review today