Friday, March 30, 2012

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Eva Ward returns to the only place she truly belongs, the old house on the Cornish coast, seeking happiness in memories of childhood summers. There she finds mysterious voices and hidden pathways that sweep her not only into the past, but also into the arms of a man who is not of her time.
But Eva must confront her own ghosts, as well as those of long ago. As she begins to question her place in the present, she comes to realize that she too must decide where she really belongs.

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.


  1. Thanks for the review Tami! I think I would have shied away from a book like this for the same reason you gave, but it does sound intriguing with an interesting plot. I'll have to check out this author since I'm not familiar with her.


  2. I, too like your reviews and will seek out this book. It is good to have a source from which to pick books to read. Sometimes I go with best-sellers just to kind of be in the social loop of what is going on. But I do not think my tastes alway are in synch with those of the general population.

  3. It was good, I just finished it myself. You should read "The Winter Sea" by the same author. It was very good also.