The Rose GardenBook - 2011
When Eva's film star sister Catrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Trelowarth, Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Catrina's ashes and thus return her to the place where she belongs.
But in doing so Eva must confront ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Hallets, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. Eva finds herself able to see and talk to these people, and she falls for Daniel Butler, a man who lived and died long before she herself was born.
Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.
From the critics
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We were the only customers for lunch, and it was clear the waitress had a crush on Oliver because she set my soup down with a lack of care that bordered on disdain. Oliver, not noticing, looked puzzled when he saw me trying not to laugh.
I turned my face into the pillow just in time to catch the first sob rising from this newly hollow place inside me, and the tears came with it, swelling in behind my eyes and spilling over with a force I couldn’t stop or fight.
And through it all, the thing that seemed to me the most unfair was that the birds outside my window went on singing as though it were just like any other morning.
"He looked so at home here, the voyager, eyes to the distant horizon, relaxed at the helm."-Eva
"It's been five years this spring, and sometimes I still feel as though he's very near."-Claire
"It wasn't just his height or strength of build, it was the whole of him, that certain quiet sense of self-assuredness that told me he would not be on the losing side too often in a fight. Were I a man myself, I wouldn't want to test him."-Eva(describing Daniel)
"There is no map for this, no ordered rules of conduct, so we must invent them as we stumble through, and I would argue that the first rule is honesty."-Daniel
"I've always rather liked the Celtic view of life, that this world and the next one aren't so separate from each other."-Claire
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<p>Fans of Ontario author Susanna Kearsley will be pleased to hear she is back; and her new novel, *The Rose Garden*, is built from the same elements that made *Marianna* and *The Winter Sea* impossible to put down. For those unfamiliar with her work, Kearsley's made a name for herself penning tales of romantic suspense featuring appeal factors like time travel, flawlessly researched Celtic culture and landscapes, and warm, likeable characters. She has a knack for building steamy, suspenseful tension into book you can lend your grandmother without blushing, and as far as I'm concerned that is a serious skill. Indeed, most of Kearsley's books could be considered a slightly cleaned-up, faster-paced readalike for Diana Gabaldon's *Outlander* series, and make an excellent next read when you've run out of books featuring the masculinely divine Jamie Fraser. Her latest outing, The Rose Garden, is no exception.</p>
<p>After the death of her film star sister, Hollywood PR agent Eva finds herself making the journey from California to the home of Mark and Susan, close family friends in Cornwall. At a loss for what to do without her sister, she decides to end her Hollywood career and put her skills to work saving Trelowarth - the manor that is home to Mark and Susan - from financial ruin. Throughout the novel, Kearsley sustains an atmosphere of the lush, natural mystery of the Cornish landscape, to the degree that Trelowarth becomes a full presence and character within the story. With the aid of friends from the neighbouring village, Susan plans to open a tea room at Trelowarth, and Eva will build the website and look after drawing in the crowds.</p>
<p>In the meantime, however, Eva begins suffering what appear to be hallucinations. Initially, she blames her sleeping pills and grief for the excursions back in time to when Trelowarth was smuggling hub during the Jacobite Rebellions. But when one hallucination abates, leaving her standing in the 21st century wearing clothes she's been loaned in the 1700s by an intense, handsome (and ostensibly imaginary) smuggler named Daniel, she's forced to re-evaluate.</p>
<p>With help from local folktales, Eva begins to reason out what is happening to her on her journeys back in time. Reason, however, doesn't help her stay detached on these journeys - her undeniable connection with Daniel has drawn her into the intrigue of his
smuggling and activities within the Jacobite uprisings. Worse, local law enforcement have noted Daniel's attachment to Eva, and want to make her a pawn in their plans. Kearsley skillfully builds tension between the two times, and the reader is hard pressed to put down the book before discovering whether Eva can master her time shifting
before someone gets caught or killed. Perfect for the beach or cottage, *The Rose Garden* is an enchanting journey you'll want to share.</p>
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