Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Book Review: The Trouble with Rose

By Becky Gulc

‘A missing sister. A broken heart. A whole lot of trouble…

Rilla is getting married. Except she isn't. She's running away – from her confused fiancé Simon, her big mad family, and the memories nipping at her heels.

Her sister Rose would know what to do in such times of crisis.

But the trouble is, Rose is the crisis. She disappeared years ago, and Rilla's heart went missing too.

Where is Rose? And who is Rilla without Rose?

If she's to rescue some happiness out of all this chaos, she needs to find out.’ (Synopsis courtesy of  HarperCollins UK.)

The synopsis of this The Trouble with Rose intrigued me, and I looked forward to discovering what happened to Rose. I thought the opening chapters were strong and comical at times, such as the wedding where no one ended up getting married, the subsequent interrogations by Rilla’s GIF (Greater Indian Family). However, I was left wondering when we’d find out more about Rose. She features through Rilla’s memories, but I kept anticipating a build up to a search that was a little slow to come. I was beyond halfway through the novel when this aspect of the story really moved along and this frustrated me a bit. I never felt like giving up on the novel though, there were plenty of good points. I loved learning about Rilla’s family, they could certainly make you feel claustrophobic at times and whilst she has a difficult relationship with her parents there is plenty of laughter and lightness to be found, particularly through the scenes with her flatmate, her ‘sister’ and a scene-stealing cat.

I loved the last third of the novel in particular. This is where we the search for Rose begins and we learn what has happened to her all those years ago. This was where I felt I understood Rilla the most; I bonded with her as a character, I could understand her somewhat abrupt manner. I felt for her; this is a woman who has been carrying around a lot of anger, guilt and frustration for so long, I just wanted the family to talk to one another. It was very moving at times, yet the balance is right as it maintains those comical moments through to the end. This is a great debut and I’m glad I stuck with it.

Thanks to HarperCollins UK for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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