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Tigerlily's Orchids

Tigerlily's Orchids

A Novel

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IS IT DANGEROUS TO KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORS?

When Stuart Font throws a housewarming party, he invites all the residents of his new building—among them, three flippant young girls, a lonely spinster, a man with a passion for classical history, and a woman determined to drink herself to death. He definitely does not want his girlfriend, Claudia, in attendance, as he would also have to invite her lawyer husband. But careful planning can only get a person so far. As it turns out, this party will be one everyone remembers.

Meanwhile, living in a town house opposite Stuart’s building, in reclusive isolation, is a young, beautiful Asian woman known as Tigerlily. As though from some strange urban fairy tale, she emerges infrequently to exert a terrible spell.

In Tigerlily’s Orchids, Ruth Rendell has written a darkly humorous and psychologically thrilling novel about the eccentric inhabitants of a London terrace—about the secrets they keep, and what they will do to hide them.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439150399 | 
  • March 2012
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1

Olwen was in Wicked Wine, buying gin. She understood from Rupert, whose shop it was, that these days wicked meant “smart” or “cool,” not “evil,” just as gay in some circles was starting to signify bad or nasty. She didn’t much care, though she wondered why a shop which sold beer and spirits and Coca-Cola and orange juice advertised itself as purveying only wine. Rupert said, “That’s the way it is,” as if this explained everything.

She bought three bottles of the cheap kind. Bombay Sapphire came expensive if you consumed as much of it as she did. Gin was her... see more

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Tigerlily's Orchids includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


INTRODUCTION

When Stuart Font decides to throw a housewarming party in his new flat, he invites all the people in his building—three flippant young girls; a lonely spinster; a man with a passion for classical history; and a woman determined to drink herself to death. After some deliberation, he even includes the unpleasant caretaker and his wife. He considered inviting a few other friends, but he definitely does not want his girlfriend, Claudia, in attendance as he would also have to invite her lawyer husband. As it turns out, the party will be one everyone remembers.

Living in a townhouse opposite Stuart’s building, in reclusive isolation, is a young, beautiful Asian woman, known as Tigerlily. As though from some strange urban fairytale, she emerges infrequently, to exert a terrible spell. And Stuart’s parents, always worried about their handsome, hopelessly naive and under-motivated son, have even more cause for concern.

Darkly humorous, piercingly insightful about human behavior, Ruth Rendell, whom People magazine calls &ldqu see more

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