Author: Tracy Rees
Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 18, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 8.5/10
1895. Hampstead, London.
Olive Westallen lives a privileged, if rather lonely, life in her family’s grand Hampstead home. But she has radical plans for the future of her family – plans that will shock the high-society world she inhabits.
For her new neighbour, twelve-year-old Ottilie Finch, London is an exciting playground to explore. Her family have recently arrived from Durham, under a cloud of scandal that Otty is blissfully unaware of. The only shadow over her days is her mother’s mysterious illness, which keeps her to her room.
When Mabs is offered the chance to become Mrs Finch’s companion, it saves her from a desperate life on the canals. Little does she know that all is not as picture-perfect as it seems. Mabs is about to become tangled in the secrets that chased the Finches from their last home, and trapped in an impossible dilemma . . .
The Rose Garden is an absorbing and moving novel, perfect for fans of Dinah Jefferies and Rachel Hore.
Rich, thought-provoking, and moving!
The Rose Garden is a compelling, character-driven story that sweeps you away to Hamstead, London, during 1895 and into the lives of several women from different backgrounds, Olive, Mabs, and Ottie, as they meet, interact, and form unlikely friendships that transcend social status and, ultimately, changes their lives forever.
The prose is vivid and smooth. The characters are multilayered, brave, and authentic. And the plot is a compelling tale of familial responsibilities, strength, duty, coming-of-age, friendship, love, danger, survival, and the roles of women in Victorian England.
Overall, The Rose Garden is a touching, fascinating, uplifting tale by Rees that I thoroughly enjoyed with its strong female characters, intriguing storyline, and insightful look into the complex, powerful bonds of friendship.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.