Monday, December 6, 2021

Guest Book Review: Rose Royal

By Marisa Appleton

Our protagonist Rose is an almost fifty-year-old woman who has lived an eventful life. A marriage when she was young resulted in an uneventful divorce, the only reminder being her two adult sons. She has had plenty of love affairs, heartbreaks, bad experiences with men. She carries a .38 caliber in her purse, determined not to be taken advantage of again. When we meet her, she spends every other evening drinking in the local dive bar, the Royal. Rose is aware of her attractiveness; age has treated well. Her life starts to change when she meets Luc. A man of a similar age who has lived a similar life, they fit together almost immediately. Unfortunately, Luc turns out to be a little too similar to the Rose’s previous men. 

Written by Nicholas Mathieu, this originally French novella was first released in France in 2019. Now translated by Sam Taylor, this thrillingly short novella is available to English readers. At only seventy pages long, my first thought was wondering how much can really happen in such a short story. While described as a love story, this story does contain your typical girl meets boy and they fall in love effortlessly. However, our protagonist is older, more experienced than the usual younger main characters we find. This gives an interesting twist on the traditional love story; it is missing the usual naivety of falling in love. Rose is a character who knows how she deserves to be treated, she has experienced bad men a few too many times. She has a history of abusive and emotionally unavailable men and swears that is will not happen again. Most readers will be able to relate to her experiences in one way or another. However, she fails to stick to her guns (no pun intended) and mistakenly gives up her life to move in with Luc. Mathieu’s characters are surprisingly well written and multi-layered for such a short piece of work. If anything, it could do with being a little bit longer, the story is over just as it has begun. The crazy twist at the end leaves you wanting more! Overall, it is a quick read, but it is definitely worth it!  

Thanks to Other Press for the book in exchange for an honest review. Purchase Rose Royal here.

Marisa Appleton lives in Sheffield, England. She is currently studying an English Literature Degree at Sheffield Hallam University while also working in a supermarket part time. When she is not reading for university, she is reading for pleasure. Aside from that she enjoys working out, eating out and travelling with her friends. One day, she aspires to work in the Publishing or Marketing industry in London.

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