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In the first forty pages of Leila Meacham’s Roses, Mary, our story’s matriarch, commits an injustice against her granddaughter, makes a pass at her ex-boyfriend’s grandson, and then dies before she can hide evidence of an illegal act. Many compare Roses to Gone with the Wind, but frankly, I’m reminded of the original Dallas television series.
If that reference doesn’t help you (or dates me), imagine families with intertwined histories and love triangles that span decades. Roses is a story of ambition and true love destined for tragedy. The characters are likeably loathable, messy with good intentions.
Three families bound over generations by duty and honor sacrifice love in the name of loyalty. A series of delicious cliff hangers, Meacham fluidly switches narrators to fill gaps in the reader’s understanding. Just when I was fed up with what I perceived to be Percy’s pigheadedness, Meacham switched narrators and I felt Percy’s devastation through the lens of his poor timing.
This is an older title, one to keep in mind when you are double digits deep on a waitlist for the next epic book club title. Should someone beat you to checkout, pick up Sommerset the prequel to Roses. Note, Roses and Sommerset can be read out of sequence or individually.