1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Hothouse Flower (Paperback)
I feel very sad, as this book could have been wonderful, but as many have said in other reviews, the answers were handed to the reader on a plate in the opening chapters. I also found the constant 'French connecion' annoying and think I would have kept Giselle over Adrienne (I live in France and have never met anyone with these names!)
In the author's defence, I really enjoyed the part set in Thailand and feel that this could have been expanded (the prison camp) and less of the 'scene setting/giving the plot away' in the opening chapters.....I also found the reappearance of the horrible husband totally unecessary and this took me away from the tension of Elsie's revelations (nothing on the father's reaction - instead we were all with 'Agnes' again in France!)This would have been ok if this was the main theme of the book and fully explored, but just shoved in at the last 40 or so pages just irritated.
I think if the author had left revealing Kit's skills at the piano until the 'Oriental hotel', that would have given us a little bit of satisfaction, and maybe instead of Lydia turning into the fairy Godmother, she and Elsie could have had a mutual grieving and healing for the loss of Jasmine.....I can only guess that this was either a first novel, or hot of the heels of a first novel success. Having just read the first and second novels by the brilliant Tan Twan Eng there is no comparrison.