Thursday, 19 January 2017

Book Review: WHAT HAPPENED TO ROSE by Helga Zeiner

What Happened to Rose

Title: What Happened to Rose
Author: Helga Zeiner
Publisher: POW WOW Books
Read: December 2016 / January 2017

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Carola’s life is perfect – or so it seems. Her husband, her friends, her staff don’t see the emptiness of a loveless existence. Every day is the same, until the day when she has enough. Without warning she leaves her home country of Germany to start a new life in the Canadian wilderness.
But she is not equipped to handle the hardships of a lonely existence in a remote cabin. A five-day snowstorm brings her close to her breaking point. Searching for means to survive, she discovers the written confession of the previous cabin owner who wants to clear his conscience by admitting to a terrible sin he committed involving a girl called Rose.
When the storm subsides, Carola begins to ask questions but nobody is willing to talk. Nobody wants to tell what happened to Rose, but Carola becomes obsessed with finding out the truth.

Will Rose finally get justice? If you love mystery and suspense, with an added romance bonus, this new novel by an Amazon bestselling author will keep you turning the pages all night long.

My thoughts:

When Carola’s childless marriage fails and her husband tries to cheat her out of her fair share of marital possessions, Carola flees to Canada to escape her pain and disappointment and make a new start. Settling in an isolated country cottage in the backwaters of British Columbia she thinks she has found the simplicity and peace she had been hoping for. Drawn to Jason, the young realtor who first rented her the property, she is even taking a stab at love again, only to come up against the forbidding presence of Jason’s mother, who tries everything in her power to keep her away from her son. Stranded in her snowed in cottage in a wild storm for a few days, Carola comes across and old journal written by a man called John McLure on his deathbed, where he confesses to committing a terrible injustice to a young child, Rose, who came into his life after losing her mother in a coach accident. Drawn into the story and Rose’s sad childhood, Carola sets out to discover more about Rose’s fate – with unexpected results.

I agree that reading a book is a bit like a date – if you haven’t clicked by page 100 (aka the 3rd date, according to Bookstr), the chemistry just isn’t there and you’re not going to live together happily ever after. In fact, you may abandon the whole thing all together, and leave half-way through your first G & T, resigning yourself to a life of celibacy. What Happened to Rose was such a book for me – having fallen for its blurb I was eager to meet its characters, only to find we had absolutely no connection. I put the book down, I picked the book back up, and felt nothing, nil, nada. Even the historical backstory, which had intrigued me enough to pick up the novel in the first place, only elicited a wan yawn. Sadly, after thinking Carola would be a strong, independent woman setting out into the wilderness alone, I found her needy and inconsistent in her thoughts and actions, obsessed with finding herself a new man at all costs. Perhaps I am being unfairly harsh here, but I didn’t like any of the characters. Or perhaps, after a strong finale to 2016 as far as books are concerned, I am just experiencing reading fatigue. It obviously wasn’t the right book for me, despite the beautiful setting, which was the one aspect that kept me reading on. If you like romance with a historical twist, you may enjoy the aspects of the book that didn’t work for me. I looked for a bit of mystery, and felt let down, but as a light holiday read this book may just work for you.

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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