This week I read The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley. This is the second book of hers I have read; you can read my post about The Winter Sea here. I enjoyed The Winter Sea only slightly better that The Rose Garden, but both are fantastic. Some friends who have also read Mariana claim that it is even better that tho other two. If you have read Mariana, I would love your input!
The Rose Garden is a time travel story set in Cornwall. Eva Ward has returned to Trelowarth estate to scatter the ashes of her sister. She has chosen Trelowarth for her sister's final resting place because they spent many happy childhood summers there. At Trelowarth, Eva struggles with her grief. She becomes concerned with her mental health when she begins hearing voices and having hallucinations. Soon she recognizes that her experiences are not manifestations of grief: She has been traveling back in time to the early eighteenth century shortly before the Jacobite rebellion.
While in the past, Eva meets Daniel Butler, Trelowarth's dashing master. Daniel is a smuggler by trade, and he is a Jacobite sympathizer who couldn't care less about the anniversary of King George's coronation. Of course Eva knows the outcome of the rebellion, but how can she warn Daniel without changing history? Eva struggles to come to terms with her grief while she determines where she belongs in time.
I enjoyed the Cornish folklore Kearsley wove throughout the plot. Mr. Art @ Home's family is Cornish (most Tre-names, like Trelowarth and Treleaven(our last name) are Cornish). The Cornish customs that sprang from folklore and superstitions are fun to read about in The Rose Garden. I also enjoyed Kearsley's treatment of time travel. It is truly one of the most creative time travel worlds I have ever read, and I love her explanation of Eva's experiences. The only thing I did not like about The Rose Garden is the ending. It ended rather abruptly, and it did not fit with the rest of the story arc. Still, it was very well-written, and I would not have minded reading a longer book because I still have questions. I wish Kearsley would write a sequel!
Until next time...