Orchid Child

Written by:
Victoria Costello
Narrated by:
Melissa Kay Benson

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
May 2023
11 hours 5 minutes
In this enchanted family saga, Kate is a neuroscientist who reveres logic and order, unless she’s sleeping with her married lab director and then logic goes out the window. So does Kate’s orderly life in Manhattan after she takes the fall for their affair and Kate’s mother presses her to accept responsibility for her nephew, Teague, an orchid child who hears voices and talks to trees but rarely people.
To salvage her career, Kate agrees to conduct a study in West Ireland where hostile townsfolk rebuff her probe of their historically high rate of schizophrenia, and a local chief Druid identifies Teague’s odd perceptions as the gift of second sight, thrusting a bewildered Kate on a trail of madness, magic, and armed rebellion that leads to her own grandparents, who, she learns, were banished as traitors from the same town.
When a confrontation with the local chief Druid endangers Teague’s life, Kate arrives at the crossroads of ancient Celtic mysticism and 21st century neurodiversity, where the act of witnessing old wounds can heal suffering in the past and present... even hers, if she can accept the limits of science and the power of ancestral ties.
Orchid Child is 96000 words. Global Print and ebook publisher of Orchid Child is Between the Lines Publishing who will release it on June 13, 2023.
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I want start off by saying that I received a complimentary audiobook. In return for my honest thoughts and review. Hands down to the narrator. Amazing I couldn’t stop listening to this book. Usually audiobooks take me awhile to finish or even get through them. So I am so happy that I signed up for this Booktour. The characters and world the author created amazing. Kate losing her job and the man who she is caught messing around. Side note they both of should have gotten fired. The nerve of the company to take credit for all her work. Kate losing her half sister. Now she has to be responsible for her nephew Teague. Who I admire even though he doesn’t speak to people. Just the people he hears and the paintings he does. I love how Kate wanted to find out what the causes of what is wrong with her nephew. Love the family history and family dynamics mystery and drama. And even learning genetics and they are passed down. ( even special abilities) This is set in dual times 1920 to 2003 New York and Ireland. and different POV of views. Which to some get confused reading/listening to books like this. I absolutely love it. All the characters are very relatable. I do however love the talk of mental illness and schizophrenia. Also special visions/ this site. Seeing things or events before they happen. I really had so much fun listening and the unpredictable and mysteries that unfolded. I am definitely going to be adding more books/ audiobooks from this author. Highly recommend this book over and over. Thank you to @lovebooktours and the author for the opportunity again.

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Marta B.

4.5 stars Kate and her nephew Teague head to western Ireland for a new job prospect. Kate’s focus is on a schizophrenia study looking at a concentration of patients with the diagnosis and their descendants. Teague happens to have a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, with many similarities to her subjects. When looking deeper at the thoughts of what is considered an illness and what is considered a gift, Kate learns about the idea of “second sight” - individuals able to see or hear things others may not. To her it sounds a lot like symptoms of schizophrenia…but could it be something more? I enjoyed the multigenerational saga from the 1920s to the 2000s, from Ireland to New York and back over those times, and the family background of how second sight was passed on and how it was received at different times. A strong lesson in the importance of perspective and empathy.

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Claire B.

I really enjoyed the way this audiobook flowed. I liked the narration and thought the voice was well picked and easy to listen to. Sometimes with “powers” you feel like it is shoehorned into the story but the writing adds it in seamlessly adding another dimension to the story. I love that old meets new and I enjoyed the ending (no spoilers here though!) It was a brilliant nion to the last few commutes into work before the summer holidays!

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Kallistheni P.

“Orchid Child" by Victoria Costello is a touching and heartfelt book! It takes you on a journey of family dynamics and self-discovery that tugs at your heartstrings. The way the author brings together the characters and the storyline is skillful and engaging. This book has it all – love, resilience, and a deep exploration of human relationships. Trust me, it's a thought-provoking read that'll stay with you long after you finish it!

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I was sent a copy of this audiobook for review. Kate’s life as a neuroscientist implodes in New York as her affair with her married Lab Director results in her losing her job, credibility and all the hard work she put into a medical study. She is pushed into taking responsibility for her nephew Teague (15) who hears voices from trees and has behavioural issues. She leaves America when she can’t secure a new post and takes a job in the west of Ireland that’s investigating the historically high percentage of the locals having suffered from schizophrenia. They fly to Ireland for a new start and a chance for them both to reconnect with their Irish roots. On arrival, the locals are hostile to her and the study in general. Teague’s ability to hear voices catches the attention of the local Druid Chief who believes he has second sight. The further Teague delves into the world of Celtic magic, the more dangers he faces. Kate endeavours to commit to the work but she is finding it difficult to reconcile her scientific views with the magical mysticism surrounding the village and her interactions with the study’s subjects. When Kate confronts the Druid Chief, she endangers Teague’s life and uncovers details from her family’s Irish revolutionary past. As the worlds of rebellion and betrayal intersect with magic and modern-day neurodiversity, Kate must seek answers in science and her ancestral magic to help save Teague.

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Amanda F.

This was a fantastic audiobook !! I loved the narration and how easy it flowed and it was so good. I loved how old meets new and how everything just came together!! Sooo good. I love a good audiobook and this one didn't disappoint!!

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Emma F.

Thank you @vcostelloauthor @KellyALacey @lovebookstours #OrchidChildTour #Ad #LBTCrew #BookTwitter for letting me be part of this tour and reviewing this book. Orchid Child is 11 hours and 5 minutes long and is narrated by Melissa Kay Benson. The Orchid Child is a pretty front cover and is a metaphysical genre. Orchid Child is a dual timeline that I liked, which is the 1920s and the 2000. I enjoyed listening to the Orchid Child a Mensaly. The narrator Melissa Kay Benson had a great voice, and it was easy to listen to her throughout the whole book. I liked the characters especially Teague and it was good to see the characters develop through the book. The story is well-written and well-researched. Iliked the descriptions flowing through the book, i could really visualise what she was saying. An enjoyable read with a great writing style. 5 stars

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Mrs S.

I was initially drawn to this book by the gorgeous front cover. I know they say don't judge a book by it's cover.....but I often do! Well, I have not enough words for this book. There was so much going on and having come to the end I'm still completely intrigued and desperate to know more. This is based on a real study that looked into families with high rates of neurodiverse conditions and particularly schizophrenia. The level of scientific detail was fascinating. Having a ND child myself I really enjoyed reading about the studies. But I also loved the discussions about the voices and the link to ancestors that Teague and others felt. On top of all of this... we follow the complicated story of Jack and Ellen who are sent to New York and away from home during the chaos of the time. Kate and her relationship with her family and what happened in her youth and in present day the developing relationship with Ryan. I'm being pretty vague with the plot as I don't really want to give away any spoilers. But suffice to say that all of these storylines dance along together throughout the book - seemingly as separate entities....but as they start to come together, so many things start to make sense. I can't say that I loved all our characters - in the sense of them being adorable - but they were so well thought out, planned, presented and developed that I was obsessed with them all. The writing style was perfect for the genre....which let's be honest, I have no clue what the classify this one as! But, I loved that all the information was presented (almost as if it was a study) in small chunks which fed us just the right amount of information to move forward with each storyline. I felt as though it was a slower pace than I usually like, but it fitted well and allowed you to process each section fully before moving on. I feel like I've totally confused you all enough now. But I would definitely recommend this as something completely different and unique. I loved it and am keen to see what might be next for this author. **I also listened to this as an audio book and really enjoyed the presentation. The narrator conveyed the different perspectives brilliantly and it was really easy to follow the timelines and keep track of the different storylines. **

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Lauren C.

I was drawn to this book by the cover it is quite beautiful! The story itself is a little slow paced but I did like the mental health representation in the novel. The topics covered in the novel were interesting and thought provoking and I liked how we got to know Kate and Teague as well as the story of Jack and Ellen.

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Amorina C.

A strange, gorgeous love letter to different brains, I think it’s quite possible that this is one of those books that all people should read. Sometimes, books are almost too beautiful for words. But it’s my job to tell you about it, so I’m going to do my best. As a neurodivergent individual raising and loving other neurodivergent individuals, this was quite an experience. I could see how it might make some people uncomfortable, but to me, it felt like a hug. Like a reminder that I am enough, my daughter is enough, and everyone who is different from us is enough. Though autistic and schizophrenic individuals are different, they have some overlap and are both considered neurodivergent now. So while I didn’t understand Kate or Teague’s struggles exactly, I did understand them to a degree. The overwhelm of feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing. The fear of whether a treatment will be right for your child. Will it help them or will it be neutral? Or worse, could it actually cause them more harm? These are all decisions all parents face, but if you’re the parent or caregiver of a neurodivergent child you will especially connect with Kate. And, of course, neurotypical people make mistakes, too. At the outset, the pair travel to Ireland because of mistakes Kate has made. Like I tell my daughter, grown-ups make mistakes, too. And this book is chock full of imperfect people making mistakes and the consequences of those actions. While it is definitely an exploration of mental illness and neurodivergence intertwined with the mythology and folklore of Irish society, it is also an exploration of mistakes, decisions, and how our actions can affect those around us – sometimes generations down the line. The atmospheric small-town setting became almost like a character all in itself. Lesser characters blend with the weather and rally together to form a chorus of gossip that turns on our main characters. The twists and turns made this an engaging read that kept me on the edge of my seat and finding excuses to keep listening. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was fantastic. She was American – I think – but didn’t seem to have any trouble with the Irish accents when needed. Please forgive me, Irish friends, if you disagree! They sounded good to my Southern U.S. ears. Who’s It For? The book is labeled as Fantasy, but it’s not high fantasy by any stretch. It is extremely low fantasy, in fact, barely fantasy. I’d say urban, but the setting is mostly rural. Maybe realistic fantasy or alternate reality? It’s basically like our world but magic/mysticism is real, and while I am not one of those people, some people do believe that it is – so I’m not sure if it counts as fantasy or not. But if you enjoy family drama, mysticism, magic, found family, coming-of-age stories, and tales of overcoming odds, you will enjoy this story. There is also some fantastic mental health representation in this book. Content Warning: Suicide/Ideation, Drug/Alcohol Use, Violence, War, Adult Situations, Adult Language

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