RNOCEAN's Reviews > Roses

Roses by Leila Meacham
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Feb 28, 10

Read in February, 2010

This enthralling stunner, a good old-fashioned read, may herald the overdue return of those delicious doorstop epics from such writers as Barbara Taylor Bradford and Colleen McCullough. Meacham's multigenerational family saga, set in East Texas circa 1914–1985, charts the transformation of Mary Toliver, a wide-eyed 16-year-old heiress, into a calculating cotton plantation queen as hardheaded as Scarlett O'Hara. Her brother, Miles, goes off to WWI, returns home, but then goes back to France to marry Marietta, a French Communist, leaving Mary to deal with their plantation, Somerset, and Darla, their alcoholic mother (who later hangs herself ). Many years later, Mary, now an elderly, terminally ill widow, resolves to defeat the “Toliver Curse” and regrets “selling her soul for Somerset” and giving up her true love, Percy Warwick, the father of their secret child, to marry their friend Ollie DuMont, who helped her save Somerset when Percy refused. Meacham uses three well-balanced viewpoints: Mary's, Percy's and Rachel's, Mary's great-niece, who must confront Percy when she discovers some disquieting family information after Mary dies. A refreshingly nostalgic bouquet of family angst, undying love and “if onlys.


*****Rate this 5/5. I loved this book and even though it was over 600 pages, I found it very difficult to put down. The generational theme of love and extreme loss was mesmerizing. I loved the characters, the rich setting in Texas, the whole theme of the book. I will be looking for other books by this author.
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