Read Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin Online


In the heart of New York City, hidden in the back room of an old Laundromat, are nine rare and valuable plants. Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire tells the story of this legendary garden, and the distance one woman must travel—from the cold, harsh streets of Manhattan to the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula—to claim what is hers.Lila Nova lives alone in aIn the heart of New York City, hidden in the back room of an old Laundromat, are nine rare and valuable plants. Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire tells the story of this legendary garden, and the distance one woman must travel—from the cold, harsh streets of Manhattan to the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula—to claim what is hers.Lila Nova lives alone in a plain, white box of an apartment. Recovering from a heartbreaking divorce, Lila’s life is like her home: simple, new, and empty. But when she meets a handsome plant-seller named David Exley, an entire world opens up before her eyes. Late one night Lila stumbles across a strange Laundromat and sees ferns so highly-prized that a tiny cutting can fetch thousands of dollars. She learns about flowers with medicinal properties to rival anything found in drugstores. And she hears the legend of nine mystical plants that bring fame, fortune, immortality, and passion. The owner of the Laundromat, Armand, presents Lila with a test: if she can make the cutting from a fire fern grow roots, he will show her the secret of his locked room. But Lila is too trusting, and with one terrible mistake she ruins her chance to see Armand’s plants. The only way to win it back is to travel, on her own, to the Yucatan. Deep in the rain forests of Mexico, Lila enters a world of shamans and spirit animals, snake charmers, and sexy, heart-stopping Huichols. Alone in the jungle, Lila is forced to learn more than she ever wanted to know about nature—and about herself. An exhilarating journey of love and self-discovery, Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire brings together mystery, adventure, and heat, in every sense of the word....

Title : Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307377845
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire Reviews

  • Tejchy
    2019-05-19 22:58


  • Jennifer Defoy
    2019-05-04 20:04

    I picked up this book only because the title sounded interesting. I didn't read any reviews on it, nor did I read through the description. They say not to judge a book by it's cover, but I did, and I'm happy. This was a very good book. It has love, romance, lust, greed, passion, death, spirituality, and just about everything else. For a debut novel, I'd say that Margot Berwin did a great job. She's left me with high expectations for her next novel. The story takes place in New York and Mexico, the Yucatan to be specific. As Lila, Armand, Diego, and Exley are all on the hunt for the illusive Nine Plants of Desire. Oh what a tangled web Ms. Berwin has weaved...This story was exciting. It was pretty fast paced and it kept me wanting more. The stories behind the nine magical and mystical plants are great. Even with all that Lila went through I want to find these plants. I did do some research on some of the nine and they really do have stories just as great as they are given in this book. (I LOVE when an author does great research!)I was captivated from the first line to the last. I will be looking for a second novel for sure!

  • Amanda
    2019-05-10 18:14

    Um - the author was obviously smoking her favorite sensimilla bud when writing this. As far as I know, rattlesnakes don't live in wet damp jungles. They don't dance 6 feet tall in the air like cobras. They don't get as big as pythons. Scorpions don't feast on human blood or lurk in grass in numbers that make you have to "tiptoe". I could go on. I still rated this a three because she gets credit for lots of imagination and a fun plot. I have a better appreciation for orchids (I a...more Um - the author was obviously smoking her favorite sensimilla bud when writing this. As far as I know, rattlesnakes don't live in wet damp jungles. They don't dance 6 feet tall in the air like cobras. They don't get as big as pythons. Scorpions don't feast on human blood or lurk in grass in numbers that make you have to "tiptoe". I could go on. I still rated this a three because she gets credit for lots of imagination and a fun plot. I have a better appreciation for orchids (I actually petted my orchid yesterday and said "hi" to it:)(less)

  • Eva
    2019-05-22 21:22

    When you pick up this book, turn off your reality meter. Nothing in here is anything like real-life, except maybe the introductions to the plants at the beginning of each chapter. Ready?Lila Grace Nova is a 30 something, newly divorced, advertising exec in New York City. Her very empty new apartment needs a little decorating, so she goes to the open air market in search of a plant. She meets the decidedly sexy and mysterious David, the Plant Man, who sells her a Bird of Paradise. He keeps her coming back to learn how to care for it.Late one night, Lila finds an amazing laundromat filled with tropical plants. The owner, Armand, tells her, you see a laundromat for washing clothes which happens to have some plants in it. I see the perfect place to raise tropical plants that just happens to also wash clothes - humid and hot from the washers and dryers. Armand has, hidden in the back of the laundromat, the nine plants of desire. Each plant has the ability to give a person what they most want and together they are a powerful force. As the story evolves, Lila learns more and more about her own desires and how they shape her world. One of the desires is for wealth, but it comes with a nasty sting. Lila shares the location of the nine plants with David, imagining that it will cement their love and she'll act as broker between the plant owner, Armand and the plant acquirer, David. Instead, he steals the plants and runs away. The ensuing chase brings Lila into contact with the magic of plants and animals, teaching her and changing her, ever so slowly, into someone who understands who she is and what she wants.

  • Nina Draganova
    2019-05-07 01:17

    Меко казано странна е историята.Пълна с магия,шамани.Едновременно с това и много интересна и любопитна информация.На места ми беше и скучна.На други имаше прояви на хумор.Приключенска бих я нарекла.И шантава :)"Повярвай ми, когато опознаеш себе си, никога няма да поискаш да се преструваш, че си някой друг. Защото да си себе си е по-прекрасно от всичко, на което можеш да се престориш, за което си мечтал, което можеш да си представиш или в което можеш да се превърнеш.""Хората не вярват на истината и добрите намерения, вярват на принудата, на крайностите. Готови сме цял живот да вървим по един и същ път и няма да го сменим само от любопитство, дори да ни е втръснал до полуда и да се оплакваме постоянно. Трябва някой отгоре да го препречи и да обяви, че е в ремонт, за да ни тласне към другото разклонение.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-30 23:06

    My friend Staci asked if I wanted to read this book and I said I would. She has to sent it to someone, so I had to get reading it. I thought I would like it from her review, but I wasn't sure. From the cover it looks kind of like a Better Homes and Gardens kind of book or something. I knew it was about plants, and I was unsure about how plants could be sensual.Lila finds Exley in a plant stand in town. She ends up buying a bird of paradise plant from him. After that, she sees a plant that really catches her eye outside a laundromat. She walks in and it has a moss floor and plants all around. She finds out there are nine plants of desire in the back room from the owner Armand, and she wants to make it a point to see those plants. She got a cutting of a fire fern from the laundromat, and Exley wanted to know where she got it. She was told not to tell anyone about the nine plants of desire. Lila ends up going on an adventure, and along the way meets Diego.Each chapter tells of a certain plant and what it's properties are. There is a lot more to plants that I could have imagined. Who knew they could be so sexual too. I wasn't sure what was going to happen at the end and who Lila was going to side with. I wasn't sure who was telling the truth, but she did what was right and I was happy with how the story ended.

  • Shellie (Layers of Thought)
    2019-05-09 20:01

    The original review for this book is posted at Layers of Thought. There is also a giveaway for it there that ends October 3rd - 2010 for the US and Canada.A “trip” into the realistic yet magical where an urbanite discovers herself in the rain forest of Mexico. It’s city girl goes jungle Jane with consciousness altering plants.About: Lila is from NYC. She is in her thirties and cynical as well as wounded from her recent divorce. She has sworn off men and most attachments - “no pets, no plants, no people, no problems”. However she breaks her rule when she decides to buy herself a bird of paradise plant from the hunky greenery vendor around the corner from her studio. This starts her adventures and discovery about the mythical 9 plants of desire.This humorous story, with its self- depreciating main character, takes the reader to the rain forests of Mexico. Where Lila is propelled by her quirky yet mystically oriented friend Armand to search for the illusive plants in order to repay a debt. As they enter into foreign territory into a place where fantastical elements are the norm, Lila herself makes a mildly hallucinogenic ride into self discovery and more.Thoughts: Funny, fluffy and a very easy read, it was a needed break from the heavier stuff I have been recently reading. It was a foray into the magical. A chick lit escapist read with some mild romance which includes a gorgeous Huichol Indian from the mountains of Mexico.As Lila gets to know these plants with their anthropomorphic attributes, we get an interesting mix of fact and fun fiction about each, where all of the short chapters are headed with a plant (and a few critters) and their description. I think my favorite section was on the chocolate plant, native to Southern America, where the author includes a recipe on how to make chocolate from the actual pods. Fun stuff!I think this book will be perfect for any woman recovering from a recent break up or for anyone needing a light yet magical read. My mom is going to love this book being a plant person extraordinaire – me, the black thumb of the family killing cactus in the desert, enjoyed it just as much. I even found a few new books to add to my tbr list within the text of the novel - The Sheltering Sky by Philip Bowles and one by Carlos Castaneda. I love that. I give this fun book 3.5 stars. It was a blast.

  • Heidi
    2019-05-11 19:14

    What an odd story. I really enjoyed how different this was. I listened to it on audio. Magical realism, botany, adventure, romance. I REALLY appreciated a male/female FRIENDSHIP with no romantic weirdness! That never seems to happen.

  • Linda
    2019-04-21 19:12

    Well, this book took me by surprise. I was expecting a chick-lit light-weight break from my heavier reading. Instead, this book seems to be an attempt at doing Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan material, or James Redmond's Celestine Prophecies, except with a young NY career woman protagonist and ethnobotany.As in the Celestine Prophecies and similar books, the characters here are shadowy two-dimensional creatures for whom I could find not interest. They are prone to quoting what seem to be encyclopedia lectures on any given plant. The author' tale seems very forced at times. For example, she speaks of the ancient Mayan tales about chicory, a North American roadside weed that isn't cultivated in Mexico. Thing happen in the book that are completely implausible and never explained, such as using a potted chicory to unlock a bolted door. Really? And one day only, the house and environs were covered with blood-sucking scorpions (everyone has to have their own spatula at the ready for defense). The next day, no problem, walk barefoot if you want to. For the record, scorpions are not vampire bats. They do not crave human blood. And what is Lila supposed to do about the stolen rental car? After it was taken by a young child doing weird things with a rattlesnake, the car is never mentioned again.With some more more in having her characters come alive, and with less pontification and a great deal more research, she could have done something better with this story. The way it is now, it simple falls flat, from the lack of support in the writing.Where's the editor? This book should not have been released without some serious re-writing.

  • jacqs
    2019-05-07 01:15

    There were a few good insightful paragraphs toward the end about the main character being desperate for any man who comes along. I also enjoyed some of the ethnobotanical information about the nature of the 9 plants, particularly how cannabis is tortured to make it produce resin. However... most of the first section, in NY, is filled with bad dialogue and nothing happening. Much of the second section, in Mexico, is as randomly surreal as Kafka. It was an attempt at magical realism, trying to blend the mundane with the fantastical, that did not work well; I could not suspend my disbelief. It felt like she was stumbling around the whole time, looking for her dramatic tension, and that she felt bored and awkward while doing so. In fantasy, there are supposed to be rules in the other world, but here the rules kept changing, even including whether the 9 plants of desire were rare or common. It was like following another person's dream/nightmare where things don't hold together. Kafka, Borges, Garcia Lorca, and Calvino can pull it off, but they do it as well-focused art-form, where the point is the confusion, and they do it with humor. This felt like too much mundane combined with too much impossible, and then some personal growth being the main point.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-17 21:08

    I'm not sure why I'm giving this 2 stars instead of one - but it probably wasn't the story that was so bad as much as the characters. I HATED the girl in the book. So much of what she did or said was just idiotic. I didn't connect with any of the characters even a little bit, which was disappointing.The plant thing might have been cool but it seemed like it was trying too hard to be mystical and, again, I just didn't connect. But I confess I did google a plant or two to learn about their mystic properties. And for some reason now I'm seeing the term "mandrake root" everywhere and I don't think I even heard about it prior to reading this book. So I think that because I "learned" something while reading might be why I feel the need to nudge it up a star.Oh, and I listened to the audiobook so I'm not sure if the effected my rating. Audiobooks usually make my commute fly by but this story, with all the stupid things I KNEW were going to happen, made it agony. But still, the plants got me thinking...

  • Janet
    2019-05-07 18:03

    Thought it was brilliant. I have absolutely no interest in plants and gardening and yet this books so effectively integrated them into a story about life and love and the quest for self. If you have any interest in life, love, mysticism, or gardening you must read this book.

  • Dajana Dajax
    2019-05-01 02:04

    very interesting. incredible way to show life of herbs and our connection to nature. would recommend it to every passionate strong women courage to be vulnerable sometimes in life.

  • Staci
    2019-05-18 18:12

    Descriptive Words: steamy, informative, magical, quirky, sexual, thought-provoking,Why I wanted to read this book: * I wanted to be on this tour because Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea read this book earlier this year and loved it to pieces. After finishing I was absolutely in her camp!! What worked for me: * I loved all of the mythical folklore surrounding plants. I have never looked at any flower and thought any deeper about it than the color of the petals and the sweet smell it evokes. This book has made me think about flowers and plants on a much deeper and cellular level. * I adored Lila Nova, the main character. I loved her willingness to just go with the flow and to open her mind and horizons to new adventures. When she takes off for the Yucatan Peninsula I wanted to go with her!! * The cast of characters were wonderfully fleshed out and I felt myself gravitating towards them. I liked most of them and thought they really added to the story. * This book is filled with adventure...non-stop adventure towards the middle and end. I caught myself with one of those cheese-eating grins on my face several times as I was reading this. I suspended all sense of belief ,threw all cares to the wind and allowed this book to take over all of my senses. What an exhilarating ride! * I had no idea how sexual plants and flowers are!! Wow...all of that information was so much fun to read and at times I found myself blushing, but all in a good way!! What didn't work for me: * It all worked for me...every single word, every single sentence, every single character, the plot, the whole freaking story!!! Recommend? Oh yeah!! And lucky for you I get the opportunity to offer one copy of 'Hot House Flower' to one of my friends who leave me a comment on this review!!! Please make sure you include your email address!!! This is limited to US/Canada only. Your chance to win a copy ends September 23, 11:59 p.m.

  • Andrea Dowd
    2019-05-22 23:02

    Beware when you read this book, it will suck you in and make you do things that are unstoppable."Hothouse Flower" is a story of Lila, an ad girl, newly single in NYC. On a whim, she buys a tropical plant from a man and unwittingly begins the journey that will change her life. Lila starts to connect herself to people and living things in ways that she has never done. Upon meeting Armand, a laundromat owner who also grows exotic plants, matter-of-factly dives into her soul.Feeling greed and a relentless need for human connection, Lila accidentally/purposefully ruins Armand's Laundro-garden and sets off on a journey to help him recover his 9 Plants of Desire.The "Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire" reminded me of a shorter, female version of "100 Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in that the magical realism drips and dews all over the pages of this book. In fact, as I was in the midst of this book, I had the strongest urge to buy myself a new plant and could not wait another day to do it. Now I'm the owner of a begonia. The only problem I had with this book was that it was too short at just over 250 pages. I wanted the moments and the journey into the jungle to be stretched out into another 200 pages. I liked this book so much, I can't wait to see what's next from Margot Berwin.

  • Bailey
    2019-05-17 18:06

    This book had me genuinely excited. From first scanning the summaries, I could see it would have a fresh and unique plot and that showed itself throughout the whole book. However, about half-way through the book, the unique morphed into bizarre. Lila, a depressed divorcee, living in New York, stumbles upon rare and exotic plants and finds a love in nurturing for them. (since she has no people in her life to love now) These plants bring her into the company of David, Armand and the nine plants of desire. When the 9 plants are stolen, Lila feels it's her responsibility to help get them back. And so, in a whirlwind of travel, she finds herself in the Mexican jungle, ensconced in the power of gloxinia, magic, and odd rituals. And that-is where the books takes a turn for the worst. The first half of the book had me intrigued with the flowing conversations and symbols found in the plants. But once she's in Mexico, everything goes spiritual and subconscious that made me wonder if the author had any clue where her story was going to end up. Despite all that, I can say that I read it in one sitting, and only put it down to get rice krispies. And that's the mark of a truly good book.

  • Margaret
    2019-05-23 00:55

    Not what I expected. In looking for an audio book for my daily commute I found this little gem which was categorized as a romance. I think the publisher had to squeeze it in somewhere, although it does contain some, not romance really; at least not at first. At first you have a main character who is so desperate to be in a relationship she doesn't look beyond the superficial masks that are people's public faces. This book is as full of cautionary tales as any volume of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" and rife with insights into life, love and friendship. Ultimately, while there is a 'happily for now at least' that you may interpret as maybe being happily ever after, and it quite well may be. Who knows, the story ends at a beginning.What I found was a great story loaded with plant lore and a touch of magic. The deeper I read the more the story explored the meaning of true happiness. What do you really want? Adventure? Money? Romance? Easy to say, what do those things really mean and are they truly your heart's desire? If they are truly what you want, you may find out they don't look the way you imagined. Happiness may be a life outside your wildest dreams.

  • Kori
    2019-05-06 02:00

    Lila Nova finds herself fascinated with plants after buying a Bird of Paradise from a handsome plant man at NYC's Green Market. Walking home one evening, she spies a very rare fern hanging in a window and stumbles upon a strange laundromat housing a tropical paradise. Armand, the owner of the wacky laundry, gives Lila a cutting from the Fire Fern and tells her that, if she can coax it to grow roots, he will show her the 9 mythical plants of desire he has locked in the back room. Unfortunately, Lila isn't the brightest sunflower in the garden, and she accidentally brings ruin to the tropical laundry. To make it up to Armand, she embarks on a journey into the Mexican jungle and finds herself entangled in a world of plant mysticism, spirit animals, lust and shaman magic. This book is very different from anything I've read in a while. At first it seems a bit like chick lit, but everything takes a turn for the better once Lila gets to Mexico. I found myself very interested in the plant legends and also intrigued by a few of the characters. Give it a try if you're looking for something light and a little different.

  • Annmarie
    2019-04-22 18:15

    An uneasy mix of magical realism and older chick lit, I think. Starts off intriguingly when Lila Nova, an ad writer and new divorcee in New York, meets David Exley, a handsome plant salesman in the green market. She becomes enchanted with the world of tropical plants, and when she walks past a steamy, magical looking, plant-filled laundromat with a rare fern in the window, she is drawn inside. The sage-like proprietor, Armand, tells her he has the mythical "nine plants of desire" locked away in a back room , and if she tells no one and is able to have the cutting of the fern he provides her take root, then he will show her the plants. Her cutting does root, but unfortunately she spills the beans to her lover Exley, and he breaks in and steals the plants. Out of guilt and a desire for adventure, she travels to Mexico with Armand to replace the plants for him, and much magical realism adventure (plus a new love interest) ensues in the tropical jungle. While the jungle is rendered in an appealingly descriptive way, the magical parts didn't quite gel for me. Kept me reading though & was fun.

  • Chris Kaake
    2019-05-12 23:59

    I wasn't expecting chic lit when I bought this based on an Entertainment Weekly review. Even as chick lit, it's weak. I have enjoyed shopaholic novels and Bridget Jones, but this heroine is weak the people around her are insulting and degrading, and then she continually proves them right! I'm not a stickler for likeable characters, but this is just going too far. I almost want her to fail just because she isn't learning anything and doesn't seem to deserve everything that is promised to the person who finds the 9 flowers. The actual flower information is really interesting though. I think the idea could have been great if the characters were better. Just to be completely fair, I will say I'm not done reading it yet.

  • GoldenjoyBazyll
    2019-05-11 19:17

    Plant magic... mystery... adventure...spirituality.... all can be found in Hothouse Flowers and the Nine Plants of Desire. Yes, it is fiction but what a tale! When I got divorced I should have bought a bird of paradise and taken flight! ;) Ha, just laugh.I love the use of plants- with the medicinal and magical explainations- which are woven into this tale of discovery. Fire FernGloxinaMandrake RootSinsimillaLilly of The ValleyMoonflowerCacaoTake the adventure to find the final two!

  • Mary (BookHounds)
    2019-05-08 02:22

    If you like weird, you won't be able to put this book down. After reading it, I thought this reminds me a lot of the first time I read a Christopher Moore book. It was completely different from anything I have read lately. I don't know whether to classify this as a romance, chick lit, or what. It just such a pleasure to read something unique. Although the story is a pretty basic "finding yourself" book, the different quests Lila undertakes are something wonderful.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-21 02:06

    Meh. Good enough for the car. Mindless entertainment about a New York divorcee who goes to Mexico in search of the nine plants of desire... because the original one's were stolen from a laundromat. Yes.Some of the botanical descriptions were mesmerizing, but it's a shaky narrative at best. Uneven plot and flat characters (Lila was obnoxious and insecure throughout) don't make me want to recommend this to many people.

  • Emily
    2019-05-02 01:04

    Oscillated between enjoying the book and feeling like giving up on it. The constant "question and answer" format of so much of the dialogue started to really annoy me, and I wished that Lila had been able to take a more active role in what happened to her.

  • Lori
    2019-05-01 02:22

    This book started out so strong, and was very intriguing, for the first 1/3 of the novel. Then it started to degenerate... by the end I was so glad it was over! This author has read waaaay too much Carlos Castenada, but doesn't have the skill to parlay that into a successful and interesting book.

  • Jen
    2019-05-15 19:55

    Picked this up at the library without knowing anything about it. Kind of an odd book - the plot pulls you along, and it's fun learning about tropical plant lore, but it reads thin, as though the structure was put in place but never really fleshed out. Very quick read.

  • Bachyboy
    2019-04-25 20:06

    What a strangely delightful book! A young divorcee buys a hot house plant and learns from the seller and the local laundrette owner the mysteries and powers of plants. Set in New York and Mexico, the book enters a world of spirit animals and sexy pot plants, ha ha. Intriguing.....

  • behmaria
    2019-05-21 02:08

    Não gostei do livro em absoluto. Parti de uma sinopse que me cativou e deparei com um livro em que as personagens se perdem, em que a fantasia se mistura com a realidade de uma forma inconsistente e superficial. Não em agradou a previsibilidade do desenrolar dos acontecimentos.

  • Kate
    2019-04-23 01:01

    Made me look at my plants in a whole new light. Cute, somewhat predictable, but a nice, light read. It was the perfect book to take with me to Key West this weekend.

  • Sonia189
    2019-05-07 17:59

    Much better than what I imagined.