Saturday, 29 December 2012

Review - Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman

This book was totally mesmerising!

Rose was just 9 years old when her father, an artist who she loved dearly, left her and her mother. She was left to pick up the pieces and hold their life together. A life that her mother didn't want to live.

Completely alone, she married young, her husband Richard a respectable GP, ten years older than herself and they had a daughter Maddie but she was so unhappy with her life! She clung to the memory of a young man called Frasier who came to her house once trying to trace her father.

When she decided that she could no longer live in her marriage she took her daughter and fled to the only place that came to mind. What she didn't know was who else she might find there!

This was a book that was deep, dark in places and thoroughly captivating! I was completely caught up in the story, totally mesmerised by the wonderful characters and the beautiful picturesque landscapes. It totally consumed my every waking thought and I couldn't rest until I knew the outcome. 

Rose found more than she bargained for in this village that became her home and the relationships that the story weaves a web around were complicated, dramatic and intense.

I particularly warmed to the character of Jenny who ran the B&B that became their home for a short while.  She was a really good person who on the outside was prickly and tough but on the inside was a warm-hearted, genuine soul who would do anything to help. Rosie's best friend Shona was a true friend, someone who would always be there for her, no matter what and vice versa.  We should all have a friend like Shona in our lives!

The book was beautifully written and intriguing from the very first page and I was so determined that I was not leaving my bed this morning until I had finished it! I finally dragged myself out of bed at 1.15pm (disgusting!) when I sadly read the very last page.  I could have gone on reading it forever!

It was heart-wrenching and spectacularly emotional in parts, with a cruel twist yet thoughtful and delicate where necessary, excellently touching sensitive topics in a way which highlighted the issues but with empathy and understanding. I would like to think that if a woman who found herself in the same situation as Rose read this book, it would give them the courage, determination and hope they needed to be able to change their lives. Rose was a sparky, courageous young lady and a complete inspiration!

I totally understand now why Rowan Coleman writes as Scarlett Bailey and keeps the books separate as they are two very different and very distinct writing styles both superb in their own way.

This book for me was an emotional rollercoaster, an incredible story by a magnificent author I had the honour of meeting at the recent Festival of Romance.  It was particularly great when I got to the part of Dearest Rose that Rowan read out, as I knew exactly how the story was written to be told. 

Rowan Coleman grew up in Hertfordshire secretly longing to be a writer despite battling with dyslexia. After graduating from university she worked in bookselling and publishing for seven years before winning Company Magazine Young Writer of the Year in 2001. Her first novel ‘Growing Up Twice’ was published in 2002 and since then she has gone from strength to strength.  

She has also written novels for children and teens under the name Rook Hasting and as I mentioned earlier also writes as Scarlett Bailey.  Her books are published around the world. She now lives in Hertfordshire with her family.

You can follow Rowan on Twitter
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You can buy this book via Amazon UK
You can find her website at



Great review. Makes me want to go out and buy the book now! Thanks. x

Sue Fortin said...

I have this on my Kindle and can't wait to read it.