The Rose Garden
By: Susanna Kearsley
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
When Eva’s film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina’s ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived – and died – long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.
After reading Season of Storms (review) I decided to jump into reading another Susanna Kearsley novel, to see what her other novels are like 🙂 This is one of three books I bought from this author that are included in an eBook bundle 🙂
The Rose Garden was an interesting novel, weaving between past and present Cornwall with timeslip that is reminiscent of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. To be honest I thought this book was quite unexpected in that I didn’t expect the story to involve so much on the act of smuggling as well as the Jacobite rebellion; I suppose the above book blurb did a good job in concealing the historical elements of the novel 😉 But it was interesting, and a good refresher on the Jacobite rebellion and the political state of the United Kingdom in the 18th century.
I thought the book was a slow burn, perhaps a little too slow for my liking; so many things would’ve happened, leaving me to think that I was more than halfway through the novel, only to find out that I’m only a third through 😛 For a while I couldn’t quite get a sense where the story was heading, other than Eva trying to make sense–and accept–her time slip experiences. It does get a bit timey-whimey at the end, but the overall story was entertaining enough.
I didn’t quite love The Rose Garden as much as Season of Storms but it was a solid read. The cast of characters were interesting enough–I was especially fond of Fergal–and you get a sense of place and history with this novel. Readers of historical fiction and fans of Outlander will want to check out this novel 🙂