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Dearest Rose

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  379 ratings  ·  102 reviews
From the internationally bestselling author of Lessons in Laughing Out Loud comes a moving and heartwarming novel about a woman who escapes an abusive relationship and flees with her young daughter in search of a kind stranger she met many years earlier.

Remembering the letter that says, “You are a remarkable woman and you deserve all the happiness, contentment, and love in
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Arrow
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Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
****4 Gut Wrenching Stars****

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

You know, when I first started reading this book, I was ready to put it down and figure out how to word my review in order to not offend the author. But I kept at it and I wasn't disappointed - Yeah there were times that I got confused with the "timing" of the writing - it would bounce back and forth between the past and present without warning or preamble. Getting past this though, the story is heart-felt and
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*

Worn down by an abusive husband/relationship, Rose Pritchard clings to the kind words written to her in a letter years ago. Steeling her courage she takes her daughter and leaves everything behind and heads for the village of Millthwaite. Rose then searches for the only person who had ever offered her even a smidgen of hope, but once she arrives she is confronted by obstacles she never expected and now wonders if she has made a terrible mistake after all. At a crossroads now, she wonders if she
Rating: 3 out of 5

A beautiful poignant story about a woman who leaves behind a life of abuse, in search of something better for her and her daughter. This novel started out great and overall, it was pretty good. The trials and tribulations of life is beatutifully depicted here. The fact that one man's actions could have such great consequences, is humbling.

Having said that, however, I found it hard to like the characters.

For starters, the main character's father was a flawed man. He has ruined
Dale Harcombe
Two and a half stars. Rose and her seven year old daughter Maddie arrive at a Cumbrian Bed and Breakfast, where despite the late hour and having no luggage, they are taken in by Jenny and Brian. They have ended up at Millthwaite following a chance meeting years with an art dealer called Frasier and a follow up postcard he sent her. Rose's only thought at the time is to get far away from a life that has become unbearable. Unexpectedly Rose finds she has ended up in the same place as her father wh ...more
Sharon Redfern
When I started The Runaway Wife, I expected it to be another story of the wife who leaves, finds new love and life goes on. While it did have all of those things, it also had a strong emotional plotline about the loss of a father in a little girl’s life and how it has impacted her through her life. Rose Pritchard has left her controlling husband and come to a small town to seek out a man she met only once. Frasier McLeod showed Rose kindness at a time when she really needed it and she has never ...more
Guilty Pleasures
Amanda‘s review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Review copy provided for an honest review


The Runaway Wife by Rowan Coleman is a compelling novel that will stay with you long after it is over. It a story that touches on the subject of domestic abuse and of one woman’s journey of finding a safe haven for her and her daughter. The author unfolds this story one layer at a time, slowly uncovering the reasons for Rose leaving, which made me intrigued until the end. However, Rose is also
Cocktails and Books
This is the first book I have read by Rowan Coleman. It will not be my last! I enjoyed her style of writing, how she reveals a bit of "backstory" at a time & makes it flow right along with the present story being told.

Rose is a troubled character and readers will be captured by her & her daughter Maddie from the start. As I was reading, I put myself in her shoes--to leave home with my small child and nothing but the clothes on my back? I am not sure I would have the courage to do what Ro
Rose ist mit ihrer Tochter Maddie von zu Hause geflohen. Ihr Mann Richard hat sie und ihre Tochter geschlagen,und da hat es Rose endlich als ihre Chance gesehen,abzuhauen. Sie flieht in den Ort Millthwaite wo sie im Bed&Breakfast von Jenny unterkommt. Sie findet dort einen Platz wo sie erstmal zur Ruhe kommt und alles verarbeiten kann. Das sie in Millthwaite auf ihren Vater John trifft,hätte sie nicht erwartet. John hat die Familie damals einfach verlassen,und hat sich seitdem nicht mehr bei ...more
Finished this one in the early hours last night, thoroughly enjoyed every moment, and it's most definitely one of my books of the year. Rowan Coleman has always been more at the "thinking woman" end of the chick lit spectrum, but this one moved her writing into a whole new league for me. All the chick lit staples are there - the sexy young barman, the scatty friend, the near misses and misunderstandings - but this is a book with a really dark underside, and some of the strongest female character ...more
Lisa (scarlet21)
Rowan has always written about difficult even taboo subjects - death, divorce, single parenthood, loss, child abuse - always with some degree of humour as well as seriousness but with Dearest Rose she encompasses domestic abuse and manages to dispel the myths that domestic abuse is a predominantly working class problem that goes hand in hand with inner city sink estates and drug and alcohol problems. She is never judgemental in her writing, instead the thought and empathy that she has obviously ...more
Rose was in an abusive marriage. One day she opens the door while her husband is away and a kind stranger changes her life. When she finally gets the nerve to leave her husband the only place she thinks to go is on a post card sent by the kind stranger that she only met once years 7 years prior.

Finding herself on the run with her 7 year old daughter in tow she makes her way to a Bed and Breakfast in the town searching for the man who changed her life with an impromptu visit and some kind words.
I've been home from the wonderful island of Paxos for just over a week, as always, after a holiday, I've found it really difficult to get back into reading. I'm not sure why it happens, but it always does. I've picked up and abandoned a couple of books since we arrived home and was beginning to despair. I was really pleased to receive a copy of Rowan Coleman's tenth novel Dearest Rose this week and hoped that this would be the book to cure my reading malaise - sure enough it did! Thank goodness! ...more
I really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy stories by the late Maeve Binchy, I think you will enjoy Rowan Coleman's brand of storytelling. Although it is not quite on par with Binchy's mastery--the narrative has a similar feel to it. It is an easy, comfortable read with a satisfactory ending.

The book also had some reflections of Stephen King's _Rose Madder_ where an abused wife escapes her traumatic life by escaping into the landscape of an actual painting. In this book, the main character, Rose,
Shonna Froebel
This novel is told by Rose Pritchard, a woman who has fled her home in London to the remote Lake District village of Millthwaite, taking her young daughter Maddie with her. The reader only gradually discovers the reason why she fled, learning each piece of information a shred at a time until the true story of the domestic abuse Rose suffered is laid bare. The reader does know early on that she fled due to something her husband did, but the true extent of the abuse is not made clear until near th ...more
I think I should say that the first thing that intrigued me to read this book is that Rowan Coleman receives lots of praises for her works. It made me eager to read her book. I love reading books about family matters and feeling matters (human phsycology and human nature). I heard so many good reviews too for this Dearest Rose, so after a good many search to the online bookstore where I usually bought my book, finally “Rose” arrived at my doorstep and ready to be devoured. I’ve go through severa ...more
Rebecca Emin
Loved the characters in this book, with a particular soft spot for Maddie. I made the mistake of reading the last few pages just before the school run - bit of a red eyed collection that was! I also love the cover of this book.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ramona Lazar
I loved the book, I couldn't finish it quickly enough...
What I loved about it? Well, the main character, Rose, obviously, and Maddie, sweet, quirky, talented Maddie. I think I liked her more than any other character in the book. It reminded me of myself when I was little...without the drawing, of course...
And John. He made me think about my dad, the one I didn't know very well. I would have loved to have the chance of knowing him...So I was glad that Rose and John had the opportunity to reconnec
In the middle of a dark and rainy night, Rose Pritchard and her seven-year-old daughter Maddie arrive at a B & B in Millthwaite, a small village that has special meaning for Rose.

Seven years ago, a man named Frasier McCleod had come to her home in Broadstairs, in Kent, in search of a painting by an artist he hoped to meet: a painting called Dearest Rose. Realizing that the man is looking for her father, John Jacobs, who abandoned her and her mother when she was just nine years old, Rose imme
“No one knows, do they, what it’s like inside? How you feel stuff you don’t want, think things you shouldn’t. It’s like . . . it’s like you’re two people–the person who knows what to do, and the one who does what she wants, whatever the consequences.”

This book has been on my radar for a long time. I was curious about both author and narrative, specifically her presentation on the topic of abuse.

I struggled with narrative and character. I found both flawed and disappointing. As far as the plot we
Nikki Bywater
Rose Pritchard is looking for a second chance and to escape from a deeply unhappy marriage. A few years ago a chance encounter with a kind stranger had given Rose hope and only now after all this time had Rose found the courage to make a move and take the huge step of breaking free from her life.

The stranger a man called Frasier McCleod had given Rose nothing more than a picture postcard with a small village in Cumbria called Millthwaite on it, this is Roses only clue to finding the kind strange
Sonya Alford
I would like to say thank you to Rowan Coleman for getting her latest book sent to me. Having read and reviewed her previous novel last year which I really enjoyed, I was very pleased. 'Dearest Rose' has been published by Arrow Publishing.

'You are a remarkable woman and you deserve all the happiness, contentment and love in the world. I, for one, know that I have never met anyone quite like you.'

These are the words which have kept Rose Pritchard going for the last seven years. Rose has had enou
Rowan Coleman uses warmth, and humor coupled with her storytelling skills to deliver a tale that is both charming and entertaining, if somewhat predictable. From the beginning, readers know that Rose Pritchard is an anxiety ridden woman due in large part to her marital circumstance. After ten years of marriage, she is anxious to escape her abusive husband so that she and her young daughter can be free. She is equally consumed with the idea of being loved, hence her preoccupation with a man, met ...more
Review first published on my blog:

As the book begins, Rose Pritchard and her seven year old daughter Maddie arrive at a B&B in Millthwaite in England's Lake District. The reader gets glimpses that Rose is escaping from a bad marriage - the details emerge throughout the book.

Rose is also searching for someone from her past - someone she met once but whom she feels might be her future. What she finds is another, unexpected aspect of her past. All the pi
Jennifer Clausen-greene
I heard it said once that “love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.” How true this is in so many cases. This book captured the essence of the defeat you can feel when your self worth is carefully picked away till almost nothing remains. This is a wonderfully wrote story of redemption, power and overcoming physical and emotional abuse. Webster defines commitment as “to give in trust, custody or consignment, a pledge or promise.” The pledge or promise we make in marriage is the biggest c ...more
Rea Sinfield
I do love that moment when you hear one of your favourite authors has another book due to be released. It is no secret that one of my top authors is Rowan Coleman so when I received an early review copy of Dearest Rose I was ecstatic and I wasted no time in getting started.


'You are a remarkable woman and you deserve all the happiness, contentment and love in the world. I, for one, know that I have never met anyone quite like you.'

When Rose Pritchard turns up on the doorstep of a Cumbrian B&
Christina (Reading Extensively)
Rose has known more than her share of heartache. When she was a young girl her parents divorced and her father left them. Even before he left, he was so absorbed in his work that he often forgot she was there. After he leaves, her mother falls into a deep depression, eventually committing suicide. Then at the tender age of seventeen, Rose meets and falls in love with Richard, a man who is several years her senior but he swoops in like her knight in shining armor. Soon however she realizes that s ...more
Jennifer Joyce
Dearest Rose is a deeply moving tale, from Rose’s inadequate childhood to her disturbing marriage and her awkward daughter, Maddie. Rose has always tried to keep her problems from her daughter but her relationship with Richard has obviously taken its toll on their child. I felt for Maddie, whose bluntness often alienates her from other children, but I was glad when she started to form new bonds with people in Millthwaite.

Rose has lived such a difficult life, jumping from one heart breaking momen
Hannah Fielding
Dearest Rose is a touching, sentimental, captivating story about lost family, lost time, forgiveness, love and new beginnings. Brimming with strong female characters, it slowly builds up the back story of Rose, the main character, whilst describing the awful situation in which she suddenly finds herself and her young daughter late one night.

Rowan Coleman deals sensitively with emotional and often taboo subjects in her writing of this novel, providing an at times harrowing rollercoaster of a jou
Lydia Laceby

Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

I thoroughly enjoyed Dearest Rose. Complete with memorable characters, a compelling storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat and a quaint English village, Dearest Rose is a captivating story will stay with you. I devoured the pages to discover Rose’s secret and to find out just how Rose was going to overcome her past. A novel that is not all ‘roses’, this one is definitely a hard hitting read.

I loved all the characters from her precocious daughter
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the run away wife 1 3 Jul 12, 2014 09:29AM  
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Rowan Coleman lives with her husband, and five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family which includes a very lively set of toddler twins whose main hobby is going in the opposite directions. When she gets the chance, Rowan enjoys sleeping, sitting and loves watching films; she is also attempting to learn how to bake.

Rowan would like to liv
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