Friday, August 8, 2008


This is a lush, intricate, well-written and thought provoking novel.  Natasha Bauman has done her research to give the reader a glimpse into the world of Victorian Boston where women were property and not regarded as highly as a prized stallion.

Ada Caswell Pryce is a young, beautiful, educated woman who has been involved in the Suffrage movement during her days as one of the few female students  enrolled in Boston College.  She finds herself gently pushed into marriage by her mother.  Ada's husband is a man of his times.  He deems Ada as "hysterical" (in the Victorian sense of the word) because she speaks her mind and doesn't suppress her sexual appetite.  Edward restricts Ada to the house and limits her access to books, friends and the outside world.  

Edward also develops an obsession for collecting orchids because they are rare, exotic and expensive.  To help her survive her imprisonment,  Ada develops an interest in the orchids that leads her on a wild adventure.

This novel is fascinating.  I found myself cheering for Ada and wanting to take a baseball bat to Edward.  Natasha Bauman has written characters the reader cares about.  The novel is filled with surprises, both good and bad.  I really enjoyed it.  What do you think?

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