“Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire” by Margot Berwin

2010
10.29

In late spring, I volunteered to review “Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire”, a first novel by Margot Berwin. I can count the books I’ve reviewd on one hand, so I thought this early work of Margot Berwin, would be a great “summer read.”

Hot House Flower

The book was free, as was my review. The paperback, “Hot House Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire,” by Margot Berwin, is published by Random House and retails for $14.95. I expected this to be a lightweight summer read and was looking forward to “discovering” a new garden writer.

I, being a slow reader, usually get the benefit of early reviews from my speed reading garden blogging friends. I think many folks took this book too seriously and were disappointed. I was expecting a light and lively summer read and that is what I got.

Corpse plant

I was waiting for Hot House Flower to blossom into a full fledged romance novel, a genre seldom on my reading list. Thankfully, it was not. There was just enough travel and horticulture information to keep me turning pages.

Margot, you had me when you wrote the words Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Our protagonist, Lila, is learning about these nine plants of desire throughout the book. Each chapter starts with a little introduction to one of the nine plants and a hint about whats coming next.


I am glad “Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire” found it’s way to my reading stack. This is a romp through the jungle and there is even a bit of beach time, some totally unbelievable horticultural anticts and even a bit of magic and mystery.

This ain’t no botanical encyclopedia. My garden blogging friends would still be quibbling over the details of this book, if they hadn’t figured out it’s supposed to be fun and fictional light reading.


Heck, Margo took Lila and me to a place I’ve only dreamed. She even started out in a place I too would have wanted to trade in for tropics. She may not be that stong female heroine we are all looking for. She can’t turn all the raining monkey poop in to compost as she drives by, for example.

I received this book as a TLC Book Tour, a virtual book tour site. Virtual book tours are a promotional tool for authors to connect with readers via well-read book blogs and specialty blogs.

Realism? You want realism, well my friends, tune into reality tv. Accuracy? You want accuracy? Join the Royal Horticultural Society or stop by Martha’s on the way home.

You rarely find this kind of fun and imagination in contemporary (adult) literature. You don’t have to learn anything, just read. Relax. What could be more fun?

In garden terms think of an informal cottage garden, a little messy but delightful, never the less. After reading “Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire”, I wonder whats next for Margot Berwin.

  • Title: Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire
  • Author: Margot Berwin
  • Release date: June 1, 2010
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Pages: 304
  • Genre: Adult fiction

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