Friday, March 30, 2012
The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
Not your average romance, which is what I thought I was getting into. I read this book on the recommendation of a friend, not really expecting to like it because I "don't do romances". Not that I'm against romance, I just don't want it to be the ONLY focus of a book. So I started my walk through The Rose Garden with a bit of an attitude, looking for things not to like. But I searched in vain.
Trelowarth House, where Eva goes to scatter her sister's ashes, is the typical dark, forboding house of gothic novels. It is set in the damp, gray English countryside - a setting I always enjoy - and I was expecting the typical Lord-of-the-Manor/Damsel-in-Distress romance, but it took an unexpected shift into time travel. Eva moves back and forth - with no control over her entrances or exits - between the present and the time of pirates (Can't remember the exact date, but I'm thinking 1700's). As expected, she falls in love with the tall, dark and handsome Lord of the Manor, but he's been dead for 300 years. That puts a kink in things!
In spite of my anti-romance bias, I liked this book - a lot. It's got mystery, science fiction AND romance. Enough of each to satisfy most readers, regardless of their usual reading choices. As hard as I looked, at least initially, the only negative I could find was that the characters seemed to accept time travel a bit too easily, but I soon became so engrossed in the story that I didn't care.
I would recommend this book to fans of romance, time travel, or mystery. I have already pre-ordered Ms. Kearsley's newest book - due out in April - and will pick up her past books when I can.