Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden Susanna Kearsley

You might have noticed I’ve been on a Cornwall kick lately. I will admit that I’ve been ordering books from the library merely because they’re listed as being set in Cornwall at Good Reads; Ross Poldark is the next book on my to-read list even though I’ve already watched the miniseries. So to the point–I just finished Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden, which is (surprise!) set in Cornwall. I hadn’t read any of Ms. Kearsley’s other books and I had no idea what the book was about (or even what genre it was) before I grabbed a copy from the library so I didn’t have any hopes or expectations. I ended up enjoying The Rose Garden immensely, blowing through it in a few short days, looking forward to getting a few minutes to read a chapter or two.

The Rose Garden is the story of a woman (Eva) who returns to the site of her childhood holidays after the unexpected death of her sister. The charming site of these youthful vacations is, you guessed it, Cornwall, where extraordinary and magical things can, and do, happen. Soon Eva is torn between two different times, slipping back and forth with no warning. There have been the inevitable comparisons to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series due to the 18th-century time travel, but I find The Rose Garden infinitely preferable; it’s blessedly free of casual misogyny and eroticized violence. Is The Rose Garden a perfect book? No, of course not. I felt that the two love interests could have been fleshed out a bit more; I would have liked to know more about 18th-century hottie Daniel Butler’s exciting life smuggling and doing his Jacobite thing, but overall, Susanna Kearsley has written an enjoyable page-turner that’s so much better than what’s normally on offer in the historical romance genre. The Rose Garden is definitely-recommended summer reading.

Polperro Harbour Susanna Kearsley The Rose Garden
Author Susanna Kearsley’s photo of Polperro, Cornwall in 1976. She’s got an entire album of fabulous pics like this one on her site.

Friday’s post will be all about Midsummer. Stay tuned next week for a Rose Garden-inspired recipe: Fish and Chips!

7 thoughts on “Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden

  1. sunday taylor

    Lauren, I am not sure if you started me on this path, but my trip to England in September will include Cornwall. I am so excited! This book sounds wonderful and I will try to get it as I now want to read all I can on Cornwall. I remember loving Poldark the mini-series. Will be interested to hear if the book is good.

    1. Lauren Hairston

      Exciting! I’m going to Cornwall this summer, too. Can’t wait. I’ve started on Ross Poldark and I was worried it was going to be slow going, but I’m now about 100 pages in and Demelza has just entered the story and I think things are picking up. It doesn’t hurt that Demelza was hands down my favorite character in the miniseries.

  2. Melissa@Julia's Bookbag

    This looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to read her works for a LONG time!

    1. Lauren Hairston

      After I finished this one, I put myself on the waiting list for one of her novels set in Scotland, The Winter Sea. Looking forward to it.
      Let me know what you think of The Rose Garden!

  3. Lori

    I’ve read a couple of Kearsley’s books including this one. Both very good! I never thought to recommend it, I didn’t think it would be your thing. Funny, how sometimes, “not our things” can surprisingly turn out to be our things after all! Maybe I should recommend the zombie apocolypse series I’m reading right now????

    1. Lauren Hairston

      HA! Unless it’s set in England…

      1. Lori

        Believe it or not, one of the series is!!

Comments are closed.