I recently received this book from Wiley publishers and, admittedly, was drawn to it because of the spectacular cover art. Beautiful flowers, bright colors – how could I resist! I then read the reviews and learned that Julia Roberts just bought the movie rights and, needless to say, “Hot House Flower” jumped to the top of my reading list.
Berwin tells the story of lonely Lila Nova, a recently divorced advertising copywriter in New York. One day, Lila stumbles across David Exley’s plant stand at a green market and randomly purchases a bird-of-paradise (it’s a tropical plant for those of you lacking a green thumb). All of sudden, Lila finds herself drowning her sorrows by collecting and caring for exotic plants. Walking home from a work event, she passes by a Laundromat filled to the brim with gorgeous, tropical plants and is invited in by Armand, the owner.
Armand enchants Lila with tales of the Nine Plants of Desire. When one possesses all nine, they shall have whatever they want and Lila is enthralled. Armand hints that he has the nine plants, stored in a back room of his Laundromat and that if Lila proves herself to be true, he will let her see them.
Shortly after, Lila and David go on a date and she shows him the Laundromat and absentmindedly mentions Armand’s nine plants. The next morning, Lila learns that Armand’s nine plants have been stolen by David and, since it is her fault, he wants her to go to Mexico with him to replace the plants. The two end up on a wild quest through the dense Yucatan jungle, searching for the plants while Lila searches for herself.
Besides being highly-entertaining (and fast-paced – my favorite), “Hot House Flower” also allows the reader to do some soul-searching. I am thoroughly impressed and amazed at the comparisons Berwin makes between plants and human nature. Almost every chapter contains a valuable life lesson, which I found myself reflecting on every time.
With “Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire” Margot Berwin delivers a hit. Funny, fast-paced, insightful and entertaining, women of all ages will devour this read. If you’re looking for chick-lit with some substance, pick up “Hot House Flower” and enjoy!