Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In Search of the Rose Notes” as Want to Read:
In Search of the Rose Notes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In Search of the Rose Notes

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  1,128 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
At age eleven, Nora and Charlotte are the best of friends—until their teenager babysitter, Rose, disappears under mysterious circumstances. They decide to “investigate,” using paranormal theories and techniques they glean from a hand-me-down collection of Time-Life books. But their search goes nowhere, and leaves both girls distraught and angry with each other.

In her late
Kindle Edition, 387 pages
Published (first published July 26th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In Search of the Rose Notes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In Search of the Rose Notes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 12, 2011 Ariel rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Thank you to Harper Collins for providing me with an advanced readers copy of this book.

I am starting my review before finishing this book because I really want to say how much I am not enjoying it. I am on page 178 and I would rather clean my house than read this book. If you knew me, you would know I can't stand to clean and I love to read. If I purchased this I would have tossed it in the trash after stomping on it by now and if I had borrowed it, it would have been returned. I don't like the
Aug 09, 2011 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't shake the feeling of Déjà vu that overtook me partway through this book. At first I was sure that I had already read it and had just forgotten but since it was a new release I knew that wasn't possible. I don't know if that was the intent, to create recognizable characters to lull the reader into a state of comfort? To make them feel that this was "Anytown USA" and could have been them had they lived that era, been that age at that time? Maybe that was just my experience, but that, an ...more
May 27, 2011 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a couple of places around the Internet this summer, I saw Emily Arsenault’s In Search of the Rose Notes mentioned in close proximity to Jennifer McMahon’s Don't Breathe a Word, which is one of my favorite books of 2011 to date. So, I had a lot of anticipation built up for Rose Notes; but after reading it, I have to report that the two books are very different (despite both using the device of parallel timelines) and might not appeal to the same audience. McMahon’s book featured a mystery that ...more
Nov 20, 2011 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-11, mystery
Okay, like a lot of the other readers here, I wanted to like this one. I just didn't.

Maybe the synopsis on the cover is to blame: it makes the book sound suspenseful, nostalgic, and light. It's really none of those things. Well, nostalgic, maybe: if your idea of nostalgia is a bitter nursing of hurt feelings.

Nora, the distinctly unlikeable narrator, spends more time remembering (fetishising?) childhood slights than focusing on solving the murder mystery at hand. Nora is married, but her husband
All good things must come to an end sometime, and my streak of excellent books read is no different. In Search of the Rose Notes is the novel that killed my streak, which is unfortunate because I really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, this mediocre whodunit leaves much to be desired. Told through alternating flashbacks and present-day discoveries, the fundamental flaw in the novel is that Ms. Arsenault tries to combine a multitude of genres. Instead of a seamless combination of elements, In Se ...more
Alex Templeton
While not as good (to me at least) as Arsenault's first novel, "The Broken Teaglass" (which, come on, was about a mystery that took place in CARD CATALOGS!!), this novel did have its high points. In it, twenty-something Nora returns to her hometown, where the body of her teenage babysitter, Rose, who had mysteriously disappeared years earlier, has just been found. When they were eleven, Nora and her best friend Charlotte (Rose's babysitting charge) became obsessed with figuring out what had happ ...more
Luanne Ollivier
A man is about to get on a routine flight.
Suddenly, he pauses. He doesn't know why - but he's got to walk away.
An hour later the plane goes down in flames.
It's dismissed as chance...
----Time-Life books commercial, circa 1967"

Readers of a certain age are going to remember these books - I did.

Nora and Charlotte are eleven year old best friends in 1990. One summer they come across a 15 volume set of the Time Life books in Charlotte's house. They spend the summer with their 16 year old babys
Here is a simple, dare I say common, plot revolving around the disappearance of a teenage babysitter named Rose. Told from the perspective of Nora, a friend of a girl under Rose's care, the chapters alternate between times prior to the disappearance to immediately after it to about 10 years beyond the event. Despite the back and forth plot jumps, the chapters are headed by dates which keep the reader from becoming confused.

The disappearance is certainly what drives the plot along as the charact
Literary  Chanteuse
4.5 stars
Aug 17, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review by Linda S. Brown

William Morrow
July 2011

This is not really a coming-of-age novel, although the two young characters, Nora and Charlotte, do a lot of growing up when their teenage babysitter, Rose, disappears.

It’s not a ghost story – not really – but it is haunting, as Nora and Charlotte first try to discover what happened to Rose when they were kids; and then again when Nora returns home years later and they, again, try to solve the puzzl
Yvann S
Apr 15, 2011 Yvann S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When we were kids, she was always saving me from nothing"

When Nora and Charlotte's babysitter goes missing, the two girls turn to psychic interventions to find out what happened to her, but fail. Rose's bones turn up fifteen years later, and Nora feels compelled to return to her hometown and try once more to solve the mystery.

The mystery is skilfully managed, with a few hints along the way, but a full analysis is only possible when the final reveal is made. In a sense, all of the girls' superna
Dec 03, 2013 Kris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This isn't a terrible book but it certainly isn't a great one. The characters are not likeable and the author works really, really hard to show us that she's intimately familiar with the late 80s and early 90s. Hey, there's a banana clip! And someone's listening to Madonna on their Walkman! Whoa--did those characters just pop a tape into the VCR? Holy cow, people are wearing ripped jeans, like ON PURPOSE, as they walk through their dark-paneled family room! Almost every flippin paragraph contain ...more
Mar 06, 2012 Agatha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this one had a lot of build-up for a rather pedestrian outcome. I like her and her writing; I just wish the endings had a little more “oomph.” I kind of think that her books are a lot of “to-do” about. . .well, not much. Like there’s a big mystery, and lots of speculation, and then it turns out to be: the dog ate someone’s homework, or something like that. Shoot. Oh well, that’s just my personal take-away; others’ mileage may vary.

Brief summary: main character Nora (age 27) goes back
This is exactly what I needed to break my reading slump. Kept me up most of the night last night because I was desperate to find out what happened to Rose. I was sucked in right away to this book because the kids were growing up in the early 90's and I did too:) So I could definitely relate. Within the first couple of pages there was a Spirograph mentioned and I flipped out because it occurred to me that I NEVER read books from a child's pov in the early 90's. This is honestly my first. Well oka ...more
Katie Schmid
I read it in one day, so I guess I thought it was pretty good. It's interesting to me how similar "The Sense of an Ending" and "In Search of the Rose Notes" are, plot-wise. A disappearance/death, childhood friends, and the subject of memory. But one is what you would call more "literary" than the other. This book has that particular easy American unselfconsciousness that I associate with something that borders "chick lit" --not meant as a slur. I like chick lit because of its easiness. Because i ...more
Ashley Mackler-Paternostro
All the trappings of childhood--junk food, best friends, and a cool babysitter set the scene for In Search of the Rose Notes.

The book takes you back to the 80's and a few yeas ago as you join Nora on the unraveling of what happened to her eccentric, quirky Nanny, Rose, after she disappears on a seemingly average walk home. Together with her "frienemy" Charlotte, the girls search old books, dabble in the paranormal and eventually part ways only to reconnect when a body is found stuffed inside a
Jul 20, 2011 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This is the story of the unsolved disappearance of a young teenage girl, Rose who meant different things to different people. An event that happened in 1990, two young girls who were once babysat by the teenager reunite when Rose's remains are discovered many years later, dredging up old, unanswered questions. What happened to Rose? Why did it happen? And who did it?

Amazingly I didn't think too much about the title of this book while I was reading the story. If I had, I would have been waiting f
Jul 20, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
IN SEARCH OF THE ROSE NOTES is a wonderfully plotted mystery, alternating between the past and the present. In it, we meet Charlotte and Nora, two grade school chums who are watched after school by sixteen-year-old Rose. The girls love the Time-Life book series dealing with the paranormal, and they spend plenty of time with Rose, trying to interpret their dreams or make their own runes to tell their fortunes. When Rose walks home with Nora one evening, dropping the girl at her house and then con ...more
Nicole Grace
In Search of the Rose Notes follows the main character Nora as she heads back to her hometown after the recent discovery of the body of a girl who disappeared when Nora was 11. The book flashes back to the time before the girl, Rose, disappeared and when she was Nora and Nora's friend, Charlotte's babysitter. It's a classic whodunit, because the entire time you're wondering who killed Rose, and how it all went down. How did she die?
This is the first book I have read by Emily Arsenault, having j
Sep 01, 2011 Gaby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Search of the Rose Notes is a engrossing read. The uneven childhood friendship between Nora and Charlotte provides drama and moves the story forward as they each try in their own way to solve the mystery of their babysitter's disappearance. Nora is a much more sympathetic character than her privileged friend. As Nora reaches out to and meets with people that she knew back then, when she was "the last person to see Rose alive" we can picture her high school experience - not fun - and clues to ...more
Oct 06, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stayed up way too late finishing this one -- I just had to find out what happened to Rose! The book kept me guessing -- just when I thought I had it figured out, things went in an entirely different (and all the more heartbreaking) direction. I loved the way Emily Arsenault incorporated the Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown series into her book. I thought it provided a wonderful framework for the backstory. Great stuff!
Jul 22, 2011 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 13 and up
Recommended to Chelsea by: Goodreads Give Away
It is hard to review books without giving away what they are about.

What I will say about this book is that the story shows how one person's single action in time can have profound effects, some devastating, on others for generations to come. I know that as adults many of us know this to be true as we live our lives and share with those around us. This story shows that point in a very tender and compelling way in a very strong character-driven story. I highly recommend it.
Oops, I read this a few days ago and keep forgetting to write a review. This was an odd kind of book. Not a lot happened. It read more like a character study than a thriller.

Also, the main characters read as older than they were in the contemporary section. They were in their late twenties and seemed to have these very stable and settled lives. I meant to talk about this more when I was planning my review in my head, but I've forgotten too much already.
Elisha (lishie)
Sep 20, 2011 Elisha (lishie) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Tana French
Come read with me on Facebook!
FB Book Club ~led by Lishie
"In Search of the Rose Notes"

I will forego saying anything until book club discussion!!! :)
I thought this book was interesting. It was a quick read, nothing too deep but kept my attention. Glad I read it!
Mikka Gottstein
Vom Schreibstil her ist das Buch solide und kompetent geschrieben. Die Grundidee ist gut, die Puzzleteile des Geheimnisses um Roses Tod fügen sich nach und nach nahtlos und ohne logische Ungereimtheiten ineinander. Die Charaktere sind durchaus glaubwürdig geschildert.

Ihr merkt vielleicht schon: ich musste tatsächlich darüber nachgrübeln, was ich hier schreiben könnte, und mehr als bestenfalls lauwarme Pros sind mir nicht eingefallen... Kein gutes Zeichen!

Die Idee ist interessant und
Cathy Cole
Jul 09, 2011 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Line: When I was a kid, I used to stop cold whenever one of those commercials came on.

Eleven-year-old best friends Nora and Charlotte used to go to Charlotte's house after school and spend the afternoon with their babysitter, teenager Rose Banks. When Rose disappeared without a trace, the girls knew they had to do something, so using old Time-Life books as their guide, they conducted their own investigation-- which led nowhere.

Now Nora is in her late twenties, married and teaching in Virgi
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 8/4/11:

In Search of the Rose Notes is an intriguing mystery that spans more than a decade. The book follows Nora and Charlotte from their childhood - when at the age of 11 their babysitter, Rose, disappears. Speculation flies throughout the town about her fate. Some say she ran away from home while others think something more sinister may have befallen the teen. Nora and Charlotte become obsessed with finding out what happened
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Eleven-year olds Nora and Charlotte were best friends. When their teenage babysitter, Rose, disappeared under mysterious circumstances, the girls decided to "investigate." But their search - aided by paranormal theories and techniques gleaned from old Time-Life books - went nowhere.

Years later, Nora, now in her late twenties, is drawn back to her old neighborhood - and to her estranged friend - when Rose's remains are finally discovered. Upset over their earlier failure to solve the possible mur
Oct 28, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are a number of things about In Search of the Rose Notes that I really liked. For one, I love the way that author Emily Arsenault portrays the friendship between Nora and Charlotte, both as children and later as adults. I love the mystery storyline, the way the children pursue their “investigation,” the difficulty that Nora has dealing with it as an adult. I thought the portrayal of Nora was especially good, the way she has grown away from her childhood home and the difficulties she has go ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Molly September
  • Smuggled
  • Down from Cascom Mountain: A Novel
  • Mind Games (Guardian, #2)
  • Kendras Diaries (Growing Pains #1)
  • Con Test: Double Life
  • The Road Home
  • Lethal Remedy (Prescription for Trouble, #4)
  • The Twisted Thread
  • Classic Mystery Collection (100+ books and stories)
  • Blood Country (Claire Watkins, #1)
  • The Killing Song
  • The Dead Saint
  • From the Ashes
  • Sunset (Pact Arcanum, #1)
  • Love Lies Bleeding
  • The Damage Done
  • Pressed (The Kurt Vetter Trilogy, #2)
I haven’t had a terribly interesting life, so I won’t share too many details. But the highlights include:

• When I was a preschooler and a kindergartner, I had a lazy eye and I was Connecticut’s “Miss Prevent Blindness,” appearing on pamphlets and television urging parents to get their kids’ eyes checked. I wore an eye patch and clutched a blonde doll wearing a similar patch. I imagine it was all r
More about Emily Arsenault...

Share This Book