Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday Pages: ARC Review The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller!!!

Hey there guys!!

How's your weekend going? Mine is going well, I've been trying to work on the blog a bit more after being in a rather crappy funk as of late and today I am gonna be able to celebrate her birthday with one my best and oldest friends, we've been friends since 5th grade!!

Today I have on the blog on my MOST awaited books of the year!! I'm a huge fan of Sharon Biggs Waller since I read (AND ADORED) her debut, A Mad Wicked Folly (the Spanish version of the book happens to be my friend's birthday present btw!) and I was dying to get to read her next book about a girl that defies convention to help her father find a rare orchid in China!

I was so very lucky to be sent a widget to read the book early via Netgalley, so this one will also count towards my Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge!

The Forbidden OrchidThe Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was pretty sure after A Mad Wicked Folly, but now having read The Forbidden Orchid, I know that Sharon Biggs Waller writes the kind of historical fiction that reminds me why I love the genre! Thoroughly researched, painted so vividly you can feel the earth under your nails and the sea breeze on you face! With amazing & complex characters and a journey that is never as straightforward as you'd expect.

Elodie is the oldest on a family of ten girls with a father that spends most of the time away, travelling the world and finding new plants for collectors and scientists. She is both responsible and level headed and also a little bit eccentric since she isn't one to conform exactly to the society's expectations. I absolutely loved reading through her journey of discovering who she is and growing into the woman she wants to be. She had the rebellion and the fear and the strength to try and do what she thought was right. And thankfully also had the common sense to try and learn from others when need be, even if she was a bit of the "I will go on by sheer force of will if need be" variety.

I loved that there was a lot of emphasis in the family dynamics, between Elodie and her sisters, the relationship between their parents, Elodie and her dad, and then the different relationships with a different culture once we start the journey in search of the orchid. I loved that Elodie was most of the time torn between defiance & compliance and that she learnt what battles to fight upfront and which ones to try and turn her way in more subtle ways.

I've already mentioned the fantastic world building and the attention to detail that Sharon so easily slips everywhere, but I just love how completely you feel like you are there in the China seas, or the jungle looking for an orchid, or the English countryside.

The book felt a lil slow in the beginning but I think that was more my impatience with getting onto the travelling in China and getting onto the orchid search than the book's fault. You cannot have a girl in 1861 go trampling in search of an orchid without some proper set up and serious circumstances! But once things started getting in motion, the pacing was as flawless as always!

There's romance in the book, and oh boy, was I rooting for them both since the very first moment! And if we do add the most adorable doggie ever to the book... there's plenty of cute moments! And some very necessary ones to lighten the mood here and there. There's a point when you might want to shake Elodie, but she really needs to learn to make her own choices, so do have patience with her!

A really wonderful historical fiction book that I absolutely adored and cannot wait to read as a finished copy next!! Very much deserved 5 stars!

View all my reviews


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one!! I keep hearing that the culture aspects are a bit messed up (and since I'm quite familiar with the Chinese culture that would annoy me forever.) I'm glad the world-building is wonderful as is the story though :)

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

  2. Never, ever reading this one. I don't think you're aware of the author's behavior towards a blogger, and it's not my place to tell, but I cannot support this author ever. Again. I loved A Mad, Wicked Folly and had been so excited to read this book, but I won't do it now! I'll give away my ARC and hardcover to someone who doesn't know and will enjoy. :)

    Anyway, very happy that you enjoyed this book, Pili!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. I don't normally play well with Historical Fiction, but I love Botany! I will file this away on my "when I have time" list. I know how excited so many of you were for this title, and I am happy you all loved it. Another wonderful review. Thanks. Pili. :)

  4. Ohh, yay for enjoying this book so much Pili :D You make it seem pretty amazing. <3 Yay for good romance too ;) I'm curious about this one. It do look SO PRETTY :D I hope you are having an amazing week so far sweetie. <3

  5. Hi Pili! I haven't been on your blog in forever. Literally. ;D How have you been?

    I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. I adored A Mad Wicked Folly, as you did, and I still cannot get that story out of my head. It is seriously my favourite historical fiction story. I am SO glad to hear that The Forbidden Orchid is just as good! Family dynamics, a beautiful setting, this is exactly what I'm looking for. This novel seems to revolve around the title exactly, which is super intriguing! Great review! :DD


¡Muchas gracias por vuestros comentarios, leerlos me alegra el día!/ Thanks a lot for all your comments, reading them brightens my day!!