Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Pages: 448
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Other Books By Author: The Winter Sea and Mariana
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, ""Whatever time we have," he said, "it will be time enough." Eva Ward returns to the only place she truly belongs, the old house on the Cornish coast, seeking happiness in memories of childhood summers. There she finds mysterious voices and hidden pathways that sweep her not only into the past, but also into the arms of a man who is not of her time. But Eva must confront her own ghosts, as well as those of long ago. As she begins to question her place in the present, she comes to realize that she too must decide where she really belongs."

Eva Ward returns to the house of her childhood summers on the Cornish coast.  But she returns under sad circumstances as she plans to spread the ashes of her sister.  Her friends and current owners of the house, Mark and Susan, are struggling to keep it going.  Mark wants to keep it as a farm where rare and gorgeous roses grow, whereas Susan wants to open a tea room as she thinks many people would come for the beautiful views.  Eva plans on helping them, as she worked in public relations back in Los Angeles, but the more she researches about the house, the more she is drawn back to the 1700s.  She slips back in time and the more time she spends there the more time she questions where she belongs. Susanna Kearsley's The Rose Garden is a delightful historical romance with a gorgeous setting.

I enjoyed the character of Eva and I especially liked her trips back in time in The Rose Garden. When she meets Daniel Butler, that's when it gets very good! Kearsley is known for her time-slip novels and although I never really had to suspend my disbelief in her previous novels, I had to do that with The Rose Garden when Eva travels back to the 1700s. I didn't buy it as much in this novel, especially Daniel Butler's acceptance of where Eva came from. That definitely made me scratch my head in disbelief. I feel like he didn't really take too long to process it and just accepted it right away.

I especially loved the setting of the Cornish coast, the description of the land, the history of the house and the politics of the 1700s in The Rose Garden.  There's smugglers, Jacobites, and lots of other dangers of the time period. I think Kearsley brought it to life very well.

If you enjoy time-slip novels with interesting historical details and a lot of romance, give The Rose Garden a try. If you are new to Kearsley, I recommend reading The Winter Sea first, which is my favorite of her novels so far.


  1. I have a copy of The Winter Sea on my shelf and The Rose Garden on my TBR, but for some reason haven't gotten to either yet, although they seem like books I would really enjoy. Sounds this like one had a beautiful setting - hopefully I'll get to it soon! Great review!

    1. Thanks, Angela. The Winter Sea is definitely my favorite of the two...hope you can read that one! Kearsley's novels are so great if you need an escape. Thanks for visiting!

  2. I loved The Winter Sea, too. Kearsley's such a good writer. I've enjoyed all her books, but I think my favorite has to be The Shadowy Horses. :)

    1. I have been meaning to read The Shadowy Horses...I have heard good things. Hopefully soon! Thanks for visiting, Lark.

  3. I don't remember this one as well as The Winter Sea. I know I read it a few years ago and it wasn't one of my favorites. I think I had the same issue of suspending disbelief. I like Kearsley's books but The Winter Sea is definitely my favorite. The Shadowy Horses is another favorite. I like how her books include timeslip elements but it didn't work as well in this one. Nice review!

    1. Yeah, it was good, but wasn't my favorite of her works by any means. I agree with you, Christina. The Winter Sea is definitely my favorite. I haven't read The Shadowy Horses yet, but hope to soon. You know I love the timeslip part - so fun, but it has to be a bit believable, I agree. Thank for visiting!


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