May 032011

In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault
Rating: 4/5
Source: Review copy from Netgalley
Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository, Author’s website

To be published in July 2011.

Nora and Charlotte were best friends until their babysitter Rose disappears when they are eleven. Failing to find any clues using psychic means, the girls drift apart. When Rose’s body is discovered 15 years later, Nora and Charlotte meet up again to go over the case. Nora is a reluctant participant as doing this involves facing the troubles she went through as a teenager.

As the main character, Nora is difficult to understand at times. She seems to really struggle with her emotions, and her actions. She often seems to want to do something, but holds herself back. Her internal dialogue is very real, filled with self-doubt and a lack of confidence.

Most of Nora’s story is revealed through her interactions with the other characters, and the conversations they have. At no point is Nora’s full history simply revealed, instead, the reader is introduced to it one piece at a time. While this works in some spots, it seems annoying at others as the reader is left wondering what they are missing.

I didn’t care for Charlotte’s character. She came across as a bossy, spoiled kid who grew up without ever maturing out of that stage. As an adult, she is a high school teacher, but she doesn’t seem to enjoy her job very much. She talks down about it, and seems to make fun of her students and their abilities. Definitely not how I would want my high school teachers to have acted like.

The book has a sad and tragic ending, however it is a beautiful story. The language flows very well, and the reader is drawn along Nora’s journey. And it really is more about Nora’s journey than about what happened to Rose, or anybody else.

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