By Mary Stewart
A young woman returns to her childhood home to find it filled with secrets and mysteries. Can she unravel the clues, and will it leave her in a better place than when she escaped so many years ago?
I chose Rose Cottage to read because I had been reading so many thrillers recently that I needed something different.
I enjoy thrillers but I enjoy a variety of genres and need to switch it up occasionally. I have noticed some reviewers refer to a palate cleanser when they switch up their reading choices.
In my early twenties, I discovered Mary Stewart with her Merlin trilogy. At the time I had watched a few movies inspired by the Arthur Legend and this trilogy made an impression. I didn’t complete reading those books, but I did like the first one. I think it was when my kids were small, and I got busy and distracted. I have since purchased them. I plan to read and re-read them soon. I hope they hold up to my memory.
I did discover her other more gothic suspense novels at that time also. They usually involve traveling around the world to exotic places. I have purchased several new editions of those books as well.
So, between reading newer titles, I will be reviewing backlist books of Mary Stewart and many other authors. If a book is good, it doesn’t matter when it was written and hopefully, I can introduce a few to new readers.
Rose Cottage is the story of Kate Herrick, a young widow who returns to her hometown when her grandmother requests to see her. It is the summer of 1947, and her grandmother had an injury and after recovering, she moved to a home in Scotland and needs Kate to go to Rose Cottage where Kate grew up to arrange moving her grandmother’s personal items.
There are a few mysteries surrounding Kate. Her mother left her to be raised by her grandmother when she was a small child. Her mother died in a car crash, and she never revealed to anyone who Kate’s father was. Kate’s grandmother is all the family she has.
She reconnects with old friends and there is a hint that the cottage is haunted and that some of the neighbors are witches.
While searching for some important papers for her grandmother, she uncovers secrets and betrayals. She follows the loose threads to discover the truth.
This novel was first published in 1997 and was a major bestseller. The back cover says it was the last and most mature novel from one of Britain’s greatest writers.
As I stated earlier, this read was a palate cleanser because of all the heart stopping thrillers I have been reading. It was enjoyable but I do think some of her earlier romantic suspense novels were better. I am a curious reader, and it did hook me, so I continued until the end. The author told the story with a gradual increase of suspense. It fed me enough information that I needed to keep reading. I also cared about the characters and wanted to see it through to the end.
The setting is described as a small village in England, and the description uses all your senses. The scent of roses, the prick of a finger as it bleeds after touching a thorn, the sound of birds singing. You experience the story, in the thatched roof cottage, in front of the fireplace, sipping your tea, waiting for a mystery to unfold.
I enjoyed the book because I think it brought back good memories of when I first read Mary Stewart. I would recommend it to anyone who likes gothic suspense. I rated it 3.5 stars.
Title: Rose Cottage
Author: Mary Stewart
Year Published: 1997
Category: Mystery, Suspense
Rating: Goodreads 3.71
Setting: Todhall, England
About the Author:
Mary Stewart has published 20 novels, including the Merlin trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment), Nine Coaches Waiting, The Ivy Tree, Thornyhold, The Moon-Spinners, and My Brother Michael.
Mary Stewart passed away at 97 on May 9, 2014.
Have you ever read Mary Stewart? If so, what are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite?
My reading streak continues. Looks like May will be another good reading month for me.
Since this blog is book related, do you have suggestions for anything else you would like me to do with this blog? Do you enjoy my book reviews? I hope to fit in with other content, including author interviews with a newer format and some book tours very soon. I will also write little snippets that might be of interest to other bibliophiles.
A book review of The Housemaid by Freida McFadden.
One thought on “Rose Cottage”
I’ve read some Mary Stewart books, too, Virginia, although certainly not all of them. I agree with you that they’re different enough from thrillers to be ‘palate cleansers.’ There’s a decent amount of suspense and a set of questions to keep the reader interested, which I like. I also like the past/present connections in a lot of them. Thanks for the reminder.