When Rose Pritchard turns up on the doorstep of a Cumbrian B&B, it is her last resort. She and her seven-year-old daughter Maddie have left everything behind. And they have come to the village of Millthwaite in search of the person who once offered Rose hope.
Almost immediately Rose wonders if she's made a terrible mistake - if she's chasing a dream - but she knows in her heart that she cannot go back. She's been given a second chance - at life, and love - but will she have the courage to take it?
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): "Do you know what time it is?" An irritated woman's muffled voice was just about audible from the other side of the door.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 99): It didn't help that she had rocked up in the tightest pair of white jeans that Rose had ever seen, with a full three inches of fake-tanned tummy blossoming over the waistband before barely being covered by a flesh-pink top that plunged in a deep V, leaving very little to the imagination.
MY THOUGHTS: A friend of mine once said that the light at the end of the tunnel is the next train about to hit you - I mention this here because I think it describes perfectly Dearest Rose in that just as you thought something positive (dare I say it .... something nice) was about to happen to Rose another 'train' seemed to come trundling along knocking her back down again.
I won't lie to you, there were aspects to the story that were harrowing but I wouldn't describe the story as depressing as there were so many elements that, though they had me reaching for the tissues, were what I can only describe as life affirming.
Beautifully penned, Dearest Rose takes you on an emotional roller-coaster of a ride with some truly heart-stopping moments but what most impressed me was the depth of the characters.
Concerned at first that this was going to be one of those novels in which all the female characters were written as paragons of virtue, the male characters as, well, less than desirable I was greatly pleased to discover a wonderful array of characters who, whether you loved them or hated them, brought something to the book as their part in Rose's life unfolded bit by bit.
DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of Arrow (A member of the Random House Group) I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.