The Orchid Thief
A few weeks ago, we hosted the first official Book Club meeting where we actually talked about the book - what a novel idea! *heh..*
I think it's safe to say that most people enjoyed the meeting more than they enjoyed reading the actual book. We had about 15 or 16 folks join us and promptly broke up into small groups. Sarah, our ever-so-wonderful plant shop employee and dear friend, led us through a really engaging discussion about "The Orchid Thief".
Without giving away any spoilers, the book focuses on the orchid trade, both the legal and illegal sides of it. The author, a reporter by nature, takes us on a whirlwind of an adventure as she dives into the origins of our love of orchids, and some people's all-consuming passion for the plant.
While I was one of the few who liked the book, I felt really uncomfortable numerous times while reading it. The stories shared in "The Orchid Thief" forced me to take a look at this industry's history of colonialism and the exploitation of Native and Indigenous people and land. As difficult as it may be to learn about this history in the plant world, it is critically imporant that we don't willfully ignore this past.
One of the major takeaways that I have from this book is a personal recommitment to highlighting a specific plant each week and researching the history and its origins of how and where it was discovered. If you're on Instagram, you can follow @copperlineplants to see what the Plant of the Week is each week.
On the whole, I think we will give this book a 6/10.
Our next meeting will take place on March 5th at 3:30pm and we will discuss "The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.