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Hothouse flower and the nine plants of desire
Berwin, Margot
Adult Fiction BERWIN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Berwin delivers a bangup debut packed with adventure, betrayal, love and, naturally, rare plants. New York ad woman Lila Nova, increasingly disillusioned with her job and the city, becomes enchanted by David Exley, a handsome guy selling plants at a green market. Soon, she's hooked on him, and her budding fascination with tropical plants leads her to a Laundromat that has a rare fern displayed in the window. Proprietor Armand quickly befriends Lila and gives her a trimming from the fern to take home, telling her if it forms roots, he'll show her the nine special plants he keeps in the back room. When Exley sees the fern trimming, Lila tells him about Armand's special plants, and soon the plants have been stolen and Exley has disappeared. Armand guilts Lila into coming to Mexico with him to find replacement plants, and there's magic, romance, greenery and greed as Lila and Armand venture through the Yucatan, hooking up with potential love-interest Diego and running into the devious Exley. It's a fun page-turner--escapist and wonderfully entertaining. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

At 32, divorcee Lila Nova discovers possibilities in her Union Square neighborhood when she buys a bird of paradise from David, the cute tropical plant guy at the farmers market. Later, Lila stumbles upon a Laundromat wherein exists a collection of nine plants that together supposedly allow their caretaker to achieve his or her deepest desires. Laundromat owner Armand warns her not to tell anyone, and rightly so: David steals the plants. To make amends, Lila follows Armand to his home in Mexico to replace the missing blooms. The oppressive heat and dampness, the odors of decay and rotting earth, the abundance of scorpions and otherworldly behaviors in Berwin's first novel will get under your skin, even as Lila's "adventure" leads her to self-discovery. What could have been a terrific New York novel morphs into an unconvincing tale of magical realism, where spirit animals roam the jungle and tree vibrations lead to mythological bromeliads. Readers made of sterner stuff might find the journey worth the effort. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/09.]-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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