It’s been several months since I last wrote a review on this blog and, coincidentally, several months since I finished The Rose Garden, by Susanna Kearsley. During that time I’ve been reading a little less, writing a little less, and making frequent trips to the hospital with my oldest son. But rather than let my book reviewing languish entirely, I’ve decided to catch up by posting some shorter reviews of books I’ve read during my hiatus.
The Rose Garden is the third Kearsley book I’ve read. I was incredibly impressed with The Shadowy Horses, I enjoyed The Winter Sea, and I am happy to say that The Rose Garden in no way disappointed my expectations. In this book, the heroine Eva comes to Cornwall to spread her dead sister’s ashes in the place that the two were happiest. She reunites with childhood friends and faces the difficult task of grieving, but another task even more difficult is dealing with the strange time travel episodes that continually beset her. The old house lies on ancient ley lines, and Eva finds herself inexplicably transported back and forth across a span of 300 years. During her time in the 1700’s, she finds romance with Daniel, a gentleman, a widower, and a fearless smuggler. He, in turn, finds much to admire in her, providing her with a new wardrobe, teaching her how to do her hair in the correct eighteenth century style, and protecting her from all that threatens her in the unfamiliar past. As the book winds to a close, Eva must make a choice–stay with Daniel and be his wife, or live in the present in the world she has always known.
The plot of this book reminded me of the Hugh Jackman/Meg Ryan movie Kate and Leopold, but there is a poetic beauty to Kearsley’s story that kept it from feeling cliche. I don’t often give books five stars on Goodreads. This one, I will.