The Rose Garden
by Susanna Kearsley
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402258585
- ISBN-13: 978-1402258589
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
Eva Ward is a modern woman thrown back three centuries to 1715 only to find that might be exactly where she belongs. There she finds true love with Daniel Butler, but the discord surrounding Hanoverian King George plunges the lovers into a world of intrigue, treason, and love.
Eva’s older sister, a famous actress, has died and Eva takes her ashes “home.” Home is an estate in Cornwall where they spent many happy childhood summers. Eva receives a warm welcome from the locals. Mark, an old beau of her sister’s on whom Eva had a girlhood crush, operates the Trelowarth Rose gardens on the estate. Susan, Mark’s sister, wants to open a tea shop at the garden. Their stepmother, Claire, hovers about taking care of them all when she isn’t off wandering or painting. In town there is Eva's old nemesis, Oliver, who is interested in pursuing a closer friendship and helps her research the past when she starts inquiring.
In spite of these friends, Eva still doesn’t feel quite at ‘home’ until she starts slipping back in time to find herself 300 years in the past. There Eva stumbles upon Daniel who is taken aback when she appears in his chamber. She thinks he is the intruder until she realizes she is out of place and it is a bit of time before Eva learns that she looks startling like Daniel’s deceased wife. Daniel’s stalwart friend, Fergal becomes Eva’s “big” brother teaching her how to manage in her ‘new’ surroundings. He seeks to protect Daniel and Eva from the growing attraction between them. More importantly they are concerned because the household is being watched by the unpleasant local constable who would love to catch them in illegal smuggling activity. Even more dangerous are the whispered rumors of treason.
Eva can’t control her passages through time but that doesn’t stop her and Daniel from falling in love. I liked Daniel’s and Fergal’s warm and courageous attitude about the time travel situation. They are both very likeable characters.
The historical aspects are interesting but the primary mystery and tension comes from the time travel dilemma that moves Eva in an out of time -- at good and bad moments. I was a little puzzled by the revelations that come out about the time traveling near the end of the story. There is a twisted relationship where you have to place the people of the present, past and future. I also would have liked an Epilogue to tie up the ending more clearly. I think the connections were there but I may have missed it even though I went back twice. Still, I really enjoyed the gentle warmth of the romance and the suspense of the story.
I particularly like Ms. Kearsley’s beautiful descriptions and phrasing. Here is a passage when Eva struggles to learn from Daniel how to light a spark for the fire. The phrase, of course, has a double meaning:
A simple thing, he’d said, and so it was. A random meeting and a touch–-that’s all it took to make a spark that could, with care and time, become a flame.
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for the ARC copy:
1. Visit the author's website and tell me something of interest you found there. This is required for entry.
2. For another entry tell me which cover you like better and why - the published cover above or the ARC cover to the right. I liked the ARC cover although the colors in the final cover are lovely.
3. For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.
4. For two entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.
It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Five total entries possible.)
* Open to the US & Canada only.* No PO boxes, please.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
The WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on November 12.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.