The Rose in Winter, Sarah Harrison
I remember reading Sarah’s Flowers of the Field maybe 35 years ago. I had three children under four and reading was a welcome escape from toddler-world.
It was my favourite book for a long while and got very dog eared from rereading.
I’ve read a couple more from Sarah since then, but not for a long while, and when i saw this is took me back to Flowers.
In many ways this story feels like my memories of that book, a story told in both past and present, Barbara reminds me of Thea, Molly of Thea’s sister – can’t recall her name, and Johnny feels so much like Jack, charismatic, always on the edge of excitement and danger.
Its a story that’s solid, dense, not a light, fluffy tale but one that’s full of intensity, full of characters that we’ve all met in life.
Its not fast paced, but moves forward slowly, bringing the reader along with the characters as we see events unfold.
I loved Barbara but at times wanted to say “take a chance, go for it”, and yet she’s a product of a different age, a time when choices were not so rich for women as they are now.
Johnny, well, I do so love the bad boys….and he’s a terrific one. you just know that behind the easy smile there’s so much going on, that he’s full of secrets. Its seems simple at first, Barbara likes him he likes her and they begin a romance, but of course things happen, and it made me wonder why? What was the reason behind the actions? Habit? Fear? Self sabotage?
Just when I thought the story was winding to a gentle happy close Sarah threw in a few more revelations, secrets long held, and an ending that – well, it’s not what I expected but given the way the story played out perhaps I should have.
Its not going to be a Flowers, constant re-reader for me, but it was a story I really enjoyed even if I would have liked some parts to go differently!
Its a book to lose yourself in a different age.
Stars: five, a solid story that I really enjoyed reading, but I’d have liked a slightly different ending 😉
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers