William Morrow Paperbacks
Charlotte and Nora are best friends by the time the 90s role around. They spend their afternoons at Charlotte’s house being watched by a high school girl named Rose. They look up to Rose and enjoy their time with her because she treats them as peers instead of little kids. Together, the three girls wile away their time during the summer of 1990, filled with curiosity and mischief. Their bond slowly begins to break down as summer turns to fall, culminating with Rose’s disappearance in November of that year.
Charlotte and Nora both grieve over the loss of their friend and mentor. Immediately, they attempt any wacky scheme they can imagine in order to determine Rose’s whereabouts, even going so far as to steal Rose’s family cat in the hope that the senile animal will give them a clue.
Eventually Rose’s memory and disappearance begin to fade, and although both girls will always be shaped by her absence, they both move on with their lives. The rift that had begun before Rose’s disappearance only widens, and eventually the girls lose contact with one another.
Fast forward to 2006. Charlotte calls Nora out of the blue after Rose’s body is finally discovered. Nora agree to travel back to her hometown and ends up staying with Charlotte for a week as the story behind Rose’s death unfolds.
I will say one thing for In Search of the Rose Notes; it was readable. I picked it up one night and ended up reading over 100 pages before finally being overcome by sleep. The more I read though, the more the mystery seemed to take a back seat, as Nora’s issues take the forefront, including the disintegration of her friendship with Charlotte. I would have appreciated a little more suspense.
I also had an issue with Nora’s husband Neil. It seemed like their relationship would play a bigger role in the book. Once Nora goes back to her old hometown, she is running into men that had an impact on her when she was younger. I started to wonder if this was going to be part love story, part mystery, but everything dealing with Neil seemed to peter out, and Arsenault’s attempts to draw him into the story seemed disingenuous.
I thought In Search of the Rose Notes to be a valid attempt, but there were a few key elements missing that made it fall a bit flat to me.
About Emily Arsenault
Visit Emily at her website.
Emily’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, July 26: Sarah Reads Too Much
Tuesday, July 26: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Wednesday, July 27: My Reading Room
Friday, July 29: Reviews from the Heart
Monday, August 1: Life In Review
Thursday, August 4: Reading Lark
Monday, August 8: The Whimsical Cottage
Tuesday, August 9: Chaotic Compendiums
Wednesday, August 10: A Bookworm’s World
Friday, August 12: Cozy Little House
Monday, August 15: Reviews By Lola
Friday, August 19: “That’s Swell!”
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.
**I have a copy of this book to give away to one reader. If you are interested, please include your e-mail address in the comments section. I will choose a winner randomly next week. This contest is only open to US mailing addresses.