Mundie Moms

Friday, March 11, 2016

THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID by Sarah Biggs Waller / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway

Hello and welcome to today's blog tour stop for THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID by Sarah Biggs Waller. I'm thrilled to share my review for her newest release, as well as host a giveaway! Be sure to enter to win at the end of this post. First, here's a little bit about the book. 


By: Sharon Biggs Waller
Published by: Viking
Released On: Marcy 8th, 2016
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Add it to: Goodreads

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls' father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China.

Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors' prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie's father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family—and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China.
But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?
The Forbidden Orchid takes readers on an expedition back in time to the the mid 1800's England and China. There they'll meet a strong willed character, Elodie, who will do everything she can to save her family, and help her father on a dangerous expedition to find a rare orchid. In her journey she'll find her place in a world that wants to hold her back, and she'll realize that sometimes she'll have to do what she feels is right even when everyone else is telling her other wise. 

I liked Elodie. She's a strong willed, opinionated girl who doesn't let her society's acceptations hold her back from doing what she feels is right. She's also intelligent and thinks things through before making a decisions. I admired how she weighed her options before taking action, especially during a time when it wasn't proper for a women to speak her mind, or do things she wasn't allowed to do. Elodie took matters into her own hands and did what she needed to do, in order to save her family. I greatly admired her for that. She described herself best on page 365, "I loved my family, but I wanted to take my place in the world. My father had named me after a wildflower, and I knew now that wildflowers could not thrive inside of greenhouses."

While it took awhile for me to really get into the story, I enjoyed the historical references, the historical settings of both England, and China, and sailing between two the countries. Waller does a wonderful job with bringing her research to life with life during this time, and the war on opium, the toll it took on it's users, and those who sought to sell it. I was intrigued by the history of plant collectors. Elodie's father is a plant collector, and his search for a rare orchid not only cost him, but it takes a huge toll on his family. He was not a character I cared for what so ever at all. 

The romance aspect of the story was something I wasn't a fan of either. I liked Alex as a character, and I know why their "romance" came about, and I respected him even more so for doing what he does for Elodie, however, being that she is a strong character, and as she describes herself, more of a wildflower, the forcefulness of the romance didn't fit her character. However, what transpires between Alec and Elodie is something that goes in line more with how society was at this time. 

This was an interesting book. I loved the diversity of it. I liked that it was something different than what I was excepting. I liked that it's a book that stands by itself. There's adventures, and history, which I enjoyed. Overall I didn't love it, and but I didn't not like it either. It's a good read that offers something different for YA readers who don't want to read another fantasy, contemporary or dystopian book. 


Sharon Biggs Waller grew up around artists and developed a passion for Edwardian history and the Pre-Raphaelites when she moved to England in 2000. She did extensive research on the British suffragettes for her novel, A MAD, WICKED FOLLY when she wasn’t working as a riding instructor at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace and as a freelance magazine writer. She also writes non-fiction books about horses under her maiden name, Sharon Biggs. She is a dressage rider and trainer and lives on a 10-acre sustainable farm in Northwest Indiana with her British husband, Mark. 

Visit her | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

1 winner will receive signed finished copies of THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID, A MAD WICKED FOLLY & swag, US Only.


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