Sunday, 1 May 2016

Book Review: FIVE ROSES by Alice Zorn

Five Roses

Five Roses
Author: Alice Zorn
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Read: April 2016
Expected publication: 23rd July 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads):

A sister. A baby. A man who watches from the trees.

Fara and her husband buy a house with a disturbing history that reawakens memories of her own family tragedy. Maddy still lives in the house, once a hippie commune, where her daughter was kidnapped twenty-seven years ago. Rose grew up isolated with her mother in the backwoods north of Montreal. Now in the city, she questions the silence and deception that shaped her upbringing.

Fara, Maddy, and Rose meet in Montreal's historic Pointe St-Charles, a rundown neighbourhood on the cusp of gentrification. Against a backdrop of abandonment, loss, and revitalization, the women must confront troubling secrets in order to rebuild their lives. Zorn deftly interweaves the rich yet fragile lives of three very different people into a story of strength and friendship.

My thoughts:

Set in a poor multicultural suburb of Montreal and in rural Quebec, Five Roses follows the lives of 4 women: 27-year old Rose, who is trying to get used to city life after growing up in an isolated cabin in the woods with a mystery surrounding her birth and parentage. Maddy, who at 43 is still living in the same house which bore witness to a secret loss she suffered as a teenage girl. Yushi, the talented Indian pastry maker who is bullied by her boss at work and whose friendship with Maddy and Rose will change her life. And Zara, who has just moved into a house where death recently claimed a young life, which reminds her of a tragic event in her own past. As the four women are brought together by the circumstances of their work and place of residence, they connect in ways that bring out the secrets and emotions of their different pasts and will shape their lives in ways none of them could have imagined.

Five Roses is a wonderful, rich story of four women from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds who are connected by one place – the neighbourhood of Pointe St-Charles in Montreal, its landscape dominated by the luminous sign Farine Five Roses. The author does a great job creating a sense of place and a rich background history for each of her characters, which kept me reading on hungrily, thoroughly engrossed in the atmosphere of the story. A beautifully written book which will take you on a journey into a different world, with vibrant and wonderful characters who must overcome the obstacles of their pasts to shape their future. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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