Dream of Orchids by Phyllis A. Whitney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is part of my Florida collection. Setting: Key West.

First, Phyllis Whitney is a tremendous writer. There is so much to point to that is so well crafted in this book. Her character development is excellent. The story is great. The turns in the story are unexpected and well presented. This book is so very unlike recent books of the past twenty years where I know who did it and what happened withing the first fifty pages. I didn’t figure any of this until the answers were revealed. I had a good idea of a plot turn, but wasn’t sure as her writing didn’t just tell the story, but examined the characters, setting and background. Each is well done.

The Florida part: Unlike the experience I had a couple weeks ago with Robert Wilder’s ‘The Sea and the Stars’, this book does what Wilder should have in including Florida history. The book has plenty to learn and it’s accurate and interesting. The history peppered through the book would entice anyone to want to visit the locations mentioned. Have to wonder why Whitney didn’t get to travel writing, she does such a great job with location description. Whitney makes Key West sound fascinating and a place to visit.

The book itself: As much as she writes so well, this book does drag at times as she shuffles the shells to keep the reader guessing about the twists and turns. The goal is perfect, but the execution could have been culled a bit better. I’d mention editing, but that would be laughable considering so much needless waste in other contemporary fiction being published today.

This is clearly a book written with a woman’s viewpoint. Lots about male and female interests, relationships, etc. There is plenty of mystery, too. Males are likely to struggle a bit with this book wanting it to move faster. The young of today, who are being weened on adrenaline and less on thinking, will really struggle with this book.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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