Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Review -- The Rose Garden


Rose Garden

My enjoyment rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Book Source:  Ebook (Nook)
Genre:  Historical Fiction (with a twist)

Eva Ward has returned to the coast of Cornwall to scatter the ashes of her sister. Cornwall was their childhood home and where they scampered through the beautiful Cornish gardens and along the coast. Eva felt it was the most suitable final resting place for Katrina.

While there, she reacquaints herself with Halletts -- long time family friends who inhabit an ancient estate, Trelowarth. While a guest, Eva experiences mysterious voices and visions that she can’t place nor does she understand. Unexpectedly, during a walk on the grounds of this grand estate, she is transported to a Trelowarth she no longer recognizes – one from a time and place long past. Thus begins Eva’s shadowy, parallel life between 21st century Cornwall and 18th Century Cornwall – a Cornwall brimmed with smugglers, rebellions, treachery, and one very handsome Daniel Butler.

I was so skeptical of this book – I am not a “time traveler” reader  – but – I really liked it!

Author Susanna Kearsley does a good job of balancing both present and past story lines. I loved her writing and dialogue. But it is Eva that really won me over, because she was skeptical just like me – and very funny. I caught myself chuckling at some of Eva’s reactions when she “time shifted” – it was like, “what the heck just happened? Where am I?” And the 18th century world in which she was thrust was equally unprepared to accept and understand her either. Obviously, if one is in Cornwall, one must fall in love with a handsome renegade – and Kearsley writes a very believable and G-rated relationship between Eva and Daniel. It was tender and loving.

My only criticism (as seems to be the case with me) was the ending. It was confusing – with the introduction of another time traveler (that I’d already figured out), where they came from, and who they were related to, both past and present. It required several readings to process (hence a 3.5 not a 4).

All in all though, a fun, enjoyable read. Enough so that I am eager to read Ms. Kearsley’s other novels.