THE ORCHID HOUSE by P. Shand Allfrey


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A farewell to a family, to a way of life, and to an island in the Caribbean with all its beauty and heavy indolence and festering dissolution, is intoned in the native singsong of Lally- an old nurse- in search of the lost days which come back to her with the return- to the island- of her three charges. For Miss Stella, and then Miss Joan, and then Miss Natalie, return to the island of their childhood where their father is lost in the drugged, dream world of Mr. Lilipoulala's cigarettes, and where Master Andrew, the son of another English family, is dying of tuberculosis. Miss Stella, who had loved him, comes to save him but abandons him when her child falls ill; Joan overlooks him for the wider issues of political reform as she criticizes- and crusades for native solidarity; and it is Natalie, with her money, who takes him away-with her father- to the possible salvation of the continent... The brilliance of the tropics, the languor of nostalgia, the sweetness-and the sickness, the vista here widens with its story and concludes with a slow, sad valedictory.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1954
Publisher: Dutton