I love this book so much! I’ve reread it several times now and it’s still as exciting and enthralling as it was the first time I read it! Read my book review about The Rose Garden and tell me in the comments below if you liked it as much as I did!
The story is about Eva, whose film star sister Katrina died and in order to return her ashes to a place that was home for both of them, Eva goes back to Cornwall, where they used to spend their childhood summers happily at Trelowarth House. Eva stays with the Hallets, her old friends, at the century-old house and soon finds herself slipping between the years, travelling back to the 18th century, where she meets the former owners of the place, and falls in love with one of them…
I love The Rose Garden so much!!! It’s my first book by Susanna Kearsley, and it definitely won’t be my last! The characters are awesome, it’s very easy to identify yourself with the main character, Eva. Especially since she asks herself the same question anyone suddenly travelling back in time (lol) would ask. The author also finds good ways to answer these questions, so that for the while that you read the book, it actually seems as if it might be possible to time travel.
“I shook my head. It simply wasn’t logical. I couldn’t wrap my thoughts around it. Travelling through time was something people did in books or films. It didn’t really happen. Yet the dressing gown here in my hands, and its obvious age, seemed to stand in denial of that line of reasoning, and I couldn’t think of how else to explain it.” (p. 106)
Another thing I really liked was the writing style. It is so rich and detailed, it almost felt like I could see and smell the beautiful nature of Cornwall myself. Trelowarth House and its surroundings have now deeply engraved themselves into my mind, it’s playing in my head like a film. It really seems like an enchanted place, somewhere where time travel might actually be possible.
“There was something about this remote western corner of Britain that captured the soul and refused to let go, something ancient and wild in the moors and black cliffs and the voice of the sea that spoke always of something unseen and enchanted.” (p. 83)
I also really liked Daniel and Fergal. It was refreshing to see men of the 18th century believing Eva’s story, and not thinking of her as a witch or some kind of evil spirit. They seem educated and full of common sense. It was also nice to see how Fergal grew protective of Eva, how he grew fond of her and seeing him act as if she indeed was his sister. And Daniel, Eva’s love interest, is just swoon worthy! It was easy to believe how she grew more and more torn between her life in the present and her love of him in the past, and the decision she then made in the end of the book was understandable as well, and it’s a nice one.
The story reminded me partly of Outlander, and partly of The Time Traveler’s Wife, though the stories do also have many differences. Its lovely writing style and the amazingly drawn characters make it a worthwile read! It’s quick, it’s enchanting, it’s romantic, and you do also learn a bit more about the Jacobite uprising of the 18th century. An amazing book and one which I certainly will pick up again! 5 stars from me!