Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Book Review: Roses

So, pretty much as soon as I finished The Historian (which my dog ate the cover off of the next day), I started reading another book that touts itself as being a Gone With the Wind type of story. Gone With the Wind is one of my favorite books and movies (the movie and book have many differences, by the way) and I usually scoff when a book claims to be the next Gone With the Wind. At least this one does not take place during the Civil War or in Georgia. And, well, it's no Gone With the Wind, but it is a good, hard-to-put-down story which is evidenced by the fact that I read the 500+ page book in a weekend.

Roses by Leila Meacham is a "multigenerational family saga, set in East Texas circa 1914–1985, three families of enormous wealth and power come to reside. The Tolivers are cotton tycoons, the Warwicks are lumber barons, and the DuMonts are retail magnates. The mutual respect formed between these elite families set up a social structure that will have long lasting repercussions through the generations for all their progeny. At the heart of "Roses" is Mary Toliver, a heroine we follow for 80 plus years. Stubborn and single-minded, Mary is a terrific and maddening character--epitomizing the strong-willed matriarch necessary for just such a tale. Her male counterpoint is Percy Warwick, a perfect foil and the love of Mary's life. Of course, these two are made for each other--and of course, they can never truly realize happiness in each other's arms. Their grand romance is played through the decades with enormous vigor, and their dance together is filled with small moments of joy but mostly great tragedy." (from Amazon)

It really is similar to Gone With the Wind, and I recommend it, but it's still not Margaret Mitchell's original, one-of-a-kind masterpiece. It is an easy read even with the jumps between generations and stories from different points of view. And I really love the use of red, white, and pink roses and you'll have to read the book to find out what I'm talking about. And while it kind of looks like a romance novel, I swear it's not.

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