Orchid House

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9781595541512: Orchid House

Love in a foreign land. A decaying hacienda full of secrets. And a woman searching for the story of her life.

A funeral and some family business--that's what Julia Bentley expects when she travels to the Philippines to bury her grandfather. She hopes for a brief adventure, a distraction from her most recent failed relationship and her loose-ends California life. Maybe even a chance to meet some distant relatives she's never known.

Instead, she discovers a place where past and present, Spanish and Asian, primitive and civilized mingle in a melange as spicy and colorful as the paella her relatives dish up for special occasions. A place where some children hitch rides on cattle and others wield loaded guns. Where guerillas lurk in the jungle, and volcanoes and governments are threatened to blow. Where stories haunt her ancestral home--the grand but decaying Hacienda Esperanza, Plantation of Hope--and danger lurks behind every tree. Love and orchids bloom in places she never thought to look.

How can a land so foreign, and so troubled, fill her with a strange peace? And would staying mean risking her life . . . or finding it at last?

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About the Author:

Cindy Martinusen Coloma is the best-selling author of several novels including The Salt Garden, Beautiful, and Orchid House.

From Publishers Weekly:

Julia Morrison is still grieving the death of her grandfather when she finds out she's the family representative for Hacienda Esperanza, the estate he left behind in the Philippines when he went into exile. On arriving there from San Francisco, Julia finds a mansion replete with kin who tell her legends of her Spanish ancestors, while her grandfather's cryptic notes lead her to seek out an orchid, discovered by an aunt several generations ago, that purportedly can work miracles. Over the course of settling her grandfather's affairs, Julia finds out she can't own the Hacienda outright, but the more she sees of the country and of her handsome young lawyer, the more she contemplates staying on. Julia's naïveté and attachment to the estate at times prove overly sweet, but her wide-eyed perspective is tempered by depictions of the life of those outside the gates: Emman, a boy growing up outside the mansion who takes it upon himself to protect the American woman, and Manalo, a Communist freedom fighter hoping to place control of the mansion in Filipino hands. The latest swirling romance from Martinusen (Eventide) draws tension from the setting, which includes a smoky threat from a nearby volcano, and from a nicely turned plot. (Feb.)
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