After the tragic death of her closest friend, 20-year-old Celia Thatcher is sent to work in the bookstore of family friends. Hoping the new surroundings in Massachusetts will help her regain a happy outlook on life, Celia catches the eye of not one, but two men: the elite, but unkempt Bostonian-turned-hermit, Edward Lyons, who is clearly trying to run from his past and from God, and Charles Harrod, a charming Harvard law student who promotes a religious belief Celia has never before considered. With both men vying for her attention, Celia's world is again turned upside down when one of her beaus is accused of murder. Suddenly realizing where her heart lies, Celia is now challenged with a choice bigger than man: should she follow her heart or her God?
Three and a half stars Set in 1876, The Soul of the Rose is a sweet novel about a woman with strong Christian convictions. Celia is well educated and not afraid to voice her opinions. After the death of a close friend, Celia starts over in a bookshop owned by Mr and Mrs Chestley, who are friends of her parents. Throughout there are quotes and references from several novels including Jane Eyre, and The Scarlet Letter, and a quote or two from the poet Tennyson. A pristine edition of Tennyson in its dark red cover gets Celia into trouble with Edward Lyons, one of the bookshop’s regular customers who has an extensive library. Later Celia finds out he is somewhat of a recluse and is shunned by some in the town after the death of his young wife. I liked the character of Celia and I liked the theme of the rose that winds its way through the book. Most of the characters are likeable. There is a very clear gospel presentation later in the book as Celia tries to convince a suitor of his need for God. I didn’t feel it was tacked on as it is an integral part of the story. The time and setting are well conveyed. I enjoyed this gentle story right up till towards the end, when I felt it took too sudden a shift. But maybe that’s just me, who wanted more of a struggle. Those who like Victorian romance, historical novels, Christian fiction and books about literature should enjoy this novel.
It takes a really special book to get me out of editorial mode and let me become a reader again. This wonderful book did that for me from the first page. I was lost i the story and the characters, and hated for it to end.
Debating the merits of fine literature at great lengths is the common ground that has brought Celia Thatcher and Edward Lyons together.
Celia works for Mr. Chestley as his assistant in a bookstore in Massachusetts in 1876. It's a place she used to frequent with her family as a young girl and its that love of books that has made her a valuable edition for Mr. Chestley. She loves to read, and one of its delights was to provide an escape from the real world. She just wishes she can find someone who will long for her like a rose whose soul has gotten into a man's blood.
Edward Lyons has been a social recluse after the death of his wife, Marguerite, venturing out only at night to pick up his latest book purchase to add to his growing personal library where he lives alone with only his fellow literary characters from his books as companions to pass the time. He is a man who's been searching for the truth but has been searching in all the wrong places avoiding God is doing so. This brings Celia and Edward to some great philosophical debates on the truth when it comes to science versus religion or faith in God.
He needed to know the depth, the sensitivity of her mind. Did she have a true interest in what he valued? He felt she did, but had to know fore certain. He couldn't bear another Marguerite. Edward believed he was the only man to appreciate her, if all he surmised about her was true. Granted, she was a woman of set beliefs, of strong religious conviction, yet he also saw her mind wonder and leap at new thoughts and ideas.
Rumors have been circulating in a small town such as theirs were about whether or not Edward had anything to do with his former wife's death. Some wonder if Edward killed her or is she simply died an early death due to some unknown illness.
Mrs. Harrod, has found another acceptable suitor and escort for Celia, her son Charles, an up and coming Harvard Law Student, who finds a way to charm himself into Celia's life through books and profound theological conversations instead of merely beauty and good looks, but Charles was young, nearer to her own age than Edward. Who would claim her heart and soul?
I received The Soul of the Rose by Ruth Trippy compliments of Abingdon Press for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. I have to say that the writing style for me was difficult based on the words used to convey the types of people that Edward and Celia are, both educated and wise beyond their years, but it's that wording that caused me to slow down my progression from the story to take time to investigate the meaning behind the words use to convey this story. It distracted me from the flow of the story and made it difficult to remember what I had read previously, however overall the premise behind the story is exceptional. Being a huge book lover myself, I could easily relate to Celia's character who isn't afraid to speak her mind to men, especially when her upbringing included having those same discussions with her father. She is definitely more than just a beautiful woman! For those reasons, I rate this novel a 4 out of 5 stars and for those that love a great historical romance with a bit of mystery attached to it, then you will undoubtedly LOVE this one!
Summery courtesy of goodreads.com After the tragic death of her closest friend, 20-year-old Celia Thatcher is sent to work in the bookstore of family friends. Hoping the new surroundings in Massachusetts will help her regain a happy outlook on life, Celia catches the eye of not one, but two men: the elite, but unkempt Bostonian-turned-hermit, Edward Lyons, who is clearly trying to run from his past and from God, and Charles Harrod, a charming Harvard law student who promotes a religious belief Celia has never before considered. With both men vying for her attention, Celia s world is again turned upside down when one of her beaus is accused of murder. Suddenly realizing where her heart lies, Celia is now challenged with a choice bigger than man: should she follow her heart or her God?
When I read the blurb for The Soul of The Rose I was intrigued by the books setting ,little did I know I would be captivated by a story that would charm me and transport me into a world similar in nature to Jane Austins Pride and Prejudice.
1876 Celia Thatcher is a young woman who is intelligent and brave, who after the untimely death of her best friend, moves in with close family friends Mr and Mrs Chestley who offer her a home and a job working in their book store.
Celia has a love of literature and soon brings new life to the bookstore with the introduction of book discussions that bring new quintessences and friends.... Mr Lyons a regular bookstore customer, is a non-boastful, almost damaged man, whose noble goodness is seen as arrogance. Mr Lyons is a treated like a social outcast due to and questions surrounding his marriage and the death of his wife.
I loved this book and am sure that it will become a firm favorite with many readers,my only criticism would be with Celia's problem with Mr Lyons religious beliefs - it was just an unnecessary addition to the plot,but despite that this was a masterfully written book.
Thank you to Netgalley and Abingdon press for giving me the opportunity to read The Soul of The Rose in exchange for an honest review.
The Soul of the Rose was a good read and different than I expected going in. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but parts of this book reminded me of Beauty and the Beast, which made my reading experience much more entertaining.
I really liked the main characters and the story. It was great how The Gospel and Apologetics were incorporated into the story - I liked that a lot!
The Soul of the Rose was kind of slower paced, but I found it interesting throughout and wasn't bored while reading it. The ending was a little abrupt and, even though things were resolved, I wish it wouldn't have ended the way it did (with a character asking someone a question - I now am wondering what the other person's response was!).
Still, I really enjoyed reading The Soul of the Rose and look forward to reading more of this author's novels. If you enjoy historical novels, you will probably also like this one.
*I received this book free for review from Abingdon Press through its early reader program. I was not required to write a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
The Soul of the Rose is beautiful! It's beautifully written, the characters have so much depth, and it's a beautiful love story. With all the grace and elegance of the great literature of the past, Ruth Trippy creates an atmosphere of a culture clash with faith that is realistic to an earlier time, yet timely to our generation as well. Brava!
Celia decides to make a fresh start by taking a job working for dear family friends, the Chestley's, at their book shop. While there, Celia makes a big impact on the small community, catching the eye of a young man training to be a lawyer, as well as the mysterious and reclusive, Edward Lyons.
Celia shares her love of literature with the community through a weekly book discussion, the community welcomes her readily, even Mr. Lyons who is drawn to her fresh beauty and insightful mind.
With multiple men vying for her hand, Celia has to decide whether to follow her heart or the One Who Made It.
A fascinating book that focuses on the beautiful harmony of art and religion, as well as the importance of Biblical doctrine rather than man made constructs that seek to eliminate God from our daily lives. I liked how this book explored importance of genuine faith, partially dissecting worldviews like deism and transcendentalism.
From the beginning there is warmth and familiarity about the community, especially from the Chestleys who are a very dear middle aged couple, who demonstrate a godly marriage and hospitality throughout. There are many interesting characters, who are all a mix of good and bad. I thought that the story dealt realistically for the time period with the various situations at hand.
Celia has an innate love for literature and art, with a firm shining faith that cannot help but attract all who cross her path. She has a firm foundation of faith from her family, and in many ways is mature for her age. I admired her faith and her willingness to let go of what she wanted because she knew it was right.
Overall, I applaud this book for its strong messages of faith and firm doctrine, and as a fellow booklover it was impossible not to be drawn to this book and its heroine. Mr. Lyons is an excellent brooding leading man, drawing comparisons to Mr. Rochester or Beast from Beauty and the Beast. I liked how the author strove to show how art and literature can be appreciated with a Christian worldview and insight, and how these things give a window to the soul of their authors and creators. This book had something of a gothic feel to it with a nod to Jane Eyre, though in the middle the pace lagged a bit. At times it felt predictable, but I liked how this book took a more in depth look at faith and the intellectual side of things than many other books of its contemporary. A book written for booklovers, it shines with appreciation for literature alongside a firm faith foundation.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
What an enchanting Victorian love story. Trippy captures the essence of this conservative era through book club discussions, flower shows and walks through a picturesque town. Her descriptions make me wish for simpler times when conversations can fill up entire afternoons.
The tale is woven in such a way that the reader really has no idea which of the main character's suitors will capture her heart until the very end. Her faith in God is tested and she must make almost impossible decisions.
Trippy has prompted me to follow up with a visit to Tennyson's poetry. I'd almost forgotten their beauty.
Title: The Soul of the Rose Author: Ruth Trippy Pages: 337 Year: 2013 Publisher: Abingdon Press This is just a lovely romantic story set in Massachusetts in 1876. If you are looking for action, then this isn’t the book for you. It is a charming romance set in a time that some of the more romantic of us long for, but one that has passed on. There is also a potential murderer thrown in! Celia Thatcher has been sent to live with good friends, the Chestleys, of her parents upon the death of her best friend, a friend with whom Celia had yet to share the gospel. Celia is really having a hard time coming to terms with her role or lack thereof in her friend’s faith. Celia is put to work in a bookstore, which she finds as no work at all as she loves books and soon is charming all the customers with her intelligent dialogue. She participates in the local book discussion group and gains the attention of two different men as suitors. She has a deep faith in the Lord and can defend her faith intelligently without condescension or condemnation. Edward Lyons is the town hermit. It hasn’t always been this way. Since the death of his wife at a young age, suspicion has run rampant that he might have killed his young wife. He only comes out at night and keeps to the company of his books rather than people. He is quickly drawn to Celia’s quick mind and thorough thoughts on various books as well as religion and science. He is a man who has been avoiding God and soon sees that Celia is a woman who embraces Him. Edward feels he is the only man who can truly appreciate Celia for her mind and not just her beauty. He has a rival in courting her in Charles Harrod, a young law student who also garners Celia’s attention with his discussion of books and a take on religion that Celia has never heard before. Does Charles really want Celia for herself? Will Celia choose the older Edward over young Charles? I thought this book had very good dialogue between characters and the way the rose theme was woven throughout was done smartly. Added to the romance is also some mystery surrounding one of the characters. I loved the interaction between Mr. and Mrs. Chestley and their willingness to show affection for one another. The language and/or phraseology may make some readers slow down to decipher the meaning, but the story is worth the time. The thoughts and beliefs discussed will make readers think, something every good book should do for readers. I hope to read more books by Ruth Trippy and commend her for her well-written and interesting story. My rating is 4 stars. Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo... . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...
After the tragic death of her closest friend, 20-year-old Celia Thatcher is sent to work in the bookstore of family friends. Hoping the new surroundings in Massachusetts will help her regain a happy outlook on life, Celia catches the eye of not one, but two men: the elite, but unkempt Bostonian-turned-hermit, Edward Lyons, who is clearly trying to run from his past and from God, and Charles Harrod, a charming Harvard law student who promotes a religious belief Celia has never before considered. When her heart leads her to one man, she realizes that unless they agree spiritually they will never be able to "be as one". Celia makes a difficult decision and places it all at the Lord's feet to resolve.
It was a very cerebral read as the characters discuss philosophers and transcendentalism and poetry from Emerson and Thoreau and others and frankly I was lost in some of their discussions. However, the plot line was compelling enough to keep me reading. The last few chapters were very spiritually driven and got to the preachy point and then a little too neatly tied up for my taste. I disagree with the notion that logical discussions convert. Not all conversions occur so easily. The Spirit testifies to Truth and spirits have to be open and receptive to His promptings. IMHO - There didn't seem to be that spiritual connection.
Ruth Trippy in her new book, “The Soul Of The Rose” published by Abingdon Press takes us into the life of Celia Thatcher.
From the back cover: “And the soul of the rose went into my blood…”
This line from a Tennyson poem enchants young Celia Thatcher, who supposes every woman’s heart hopes to be the rose that captivates a man.
Celia is searching for her own sense of hope after the tragic death of her closest friend. Moving in 1876 to work in a Massachusetts bookstore, to start life afresh, she soon catches the eye of not one, but two men: the elite but unkempt Edward Lyons and the charming law student Charles Harrod. One is hiding from his past and from God. The other promotes a religious belief Celia had never before considered. Both leave Celia wondering if either are right for her.
When one of her suitors is accused of murder, Celia is challenged with a deeper choice: should she follow her heart or her faith?
What do we get from reading books? Reading books opens up new worlds and new thoughts for us and when we find others who share our reading choices the discussions we can have can really broaden our knowledge. And it is so with Celia and Edward and then there are new thoughts with Charles. But what happens when some of these thoughts challenge your core beliefs of Christianity? And what about this murder mystery? It is into this environment that Ms. Trippy manages to weave a romance that just captivates you. She makes you care for all the characters and their journey. Ms. Trippy has given us an interesting book with an interesting topic that will leave you asking questions.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I really wish I could have given it 4 stars! I did read an ARC, so maybe some of my issues were remedied for the final print--one can hope! The best compliment that I can give is that it really reminded me of a "Proper Romance" like the works of Sarah M. Eden and Julianne Donaldson (who are FAVs!).
The story was good. It felt like a combination of Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast, and Jane Austen. I love how she kept the secrets from the past hidden as long as possible. It really kept me interested. It was almost great that the characters are literary nerds, but I felt like all the analysis was pretty surface-level. I would have preferred them to delve deep into one certain author or something. But that's only because I'm such a nerd myself that the characters didn't feel exceptionally intellectual to me, even though I wanted them to be.
I liked the underlying conflict of faith vs. science, but when that part of the plot climaxed it didn't feel very real. It's really hard to compete with Jane Eyre, but I wasn't really convinced. Edward should have had much more struggle. I really don't believe you can be happy unless you have God in your life. I don't think religion is something you can pick up or put down. Faith is something that burns within you that you're either cultivating or trying to smother. I LOVED that she tried to tackle this topic, but when we got to this part I felt like it worked out too easily.
Some of the dialogue was extremely formulaic, and the historical inaccuracies drove me crazy! It's set in 1876. At that time, "Alice in Wonderland" and the hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem" were both written, but not very popular yet. They talk as if Tennyson's life was over, but he didn't die until 1892. And the rebuilt Trinity Church in Boston was not consecrated until 1877. The window's were John LaFarge's first church stained-glass murals, so I'm pretty sure he wasn't a famous name yet either. It's extremely unlikely that Celia and Jack would have attended a coeducational primary school.
It wasn't perfect, but there were a lot of times when I really wanted to keep reading (and did!). Writing historical fiction is a huge challenge, especially when you're trying to satisfy a history snob like me! And writing a conversion story is even more difficult. I'd be really interested in reading what she comes up with next. This has definitely been my luckiest First Reads win so far!
What an enjoyable read! A beautiful romance, intellectual discussions, a bookstore, poetry. What more can you ask for in a novel? This is a book I will very likely be buying for my personal library, one I will certainly recommend when discussing books, and one I will very likely buy as a gift for friends.
Celia is a delightful heroine, she’s smart as well as pretty, but the focus is on her love for books, flowers and art, not her appearance. She can hold her own when conversation involves Tennyson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Pascal, Dickens, and Josephus just to name a few. Yes, this book has plenty of literary discussions.
I don’t know anything about the author as I type this but it is amply evident that she understands literature, loves roses, understands Christian apologetics and is a talented writer who can weave all of that into a Beauty and the Beast like tale.
All of the characters were important to the story and there were plenty of them. There were a few times I couldn’t quite remember which lady in the town was who but that really didn’t detract from the story and there was always a reminder in the scene or conversation that followed. Often times recently written historical romances only contain a handful of characters but I enjoyed the richness of a full cast.
Some might say parts of the book get “preachy” but it is a very important part of the plot and is line with the other intellectual literary discussions in the story – the only difference being the subject matter. The vocabulary is on a higher grade level than most fiction written today which might slow down or turn some people off as well. I ended up reading this book in two sessions even though I can usually manage a book of this length in one sitting.
The romance is clean and the gentlemanly restraint is heartwarming even as the intense physical desire is acknowledged. The tender affection that the Chestleys show for one another is endearing and sweet.
I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good discussion about literature and who loves romance set in 1876 Massachusetts.
This is a great historical drama. It is a book you can read and relax with.
Celia had experienced an upsetting crisis in her hometown. Her parents arranged for her to work for good friends in another town. Her employer also provided her room and board.
Celia loved books so she was more than content to work in the Chestley's book store. Her literary talent bloomed and expanded into the small community, where she also made some dear friends.
In an unfortunate situation, she met the town's recluse - Mr Lyons. He was a very good customer of the Chestley's but only came out at night before the store closed. She was fearful she had immediately made an enemy. He was a very mysterious person.
In Celia's escape from one disturbing situation, she discovers wherever one goes, there will always be more confusing and often painful situations. Celia must learn to trust her heart and feelings, choose wisely, and avoid temptation when it becomes very real. Will her heart or will her reason win out?
The rose was Celia's favorite flower. The title cover reflects this, plus, discloses parts of a verse from the plot. However, I would have preferred more than two hands portrayed, or others in the background.
It was a fairly slow-moving but well-written drama.
Key Points: Trust in self, others, and God; God's will vs. one's own will; make educated choices; community fellowship; expanding ones talents and abilities; forgiveness; friendship.
This review awards this book with a solid Four Stars rating.
This was sent to me by the publisher for an honest review/rating, of which I have given.
If you're looking for action, adventure, and mysterious plot twists, than The Soul of the Rose probably won't be what you're looking for. A fairly simple, straightforward love story, it nevertheless enveloped me in its quiet but interesting world, introducing me to characters I really did care about.
What I loved most about this book was that it focused more on the "heart connection" between the two characters, rather than sensual desire. Celia really seemed to care about keeping God in her relationships (there are so many "Christian" romances where it seems like all that's to the romantic relationship is the characters desiring each other physically and barely keeping themselves under control because of their religious beliefs) and I really liked the apologetics aspect to the book as well. There are certain common Biblical themes that are rehashed in a lot of Christian fiction, but this particular theme was different, and it was so refreshing to read a novel where I agreed with nearly everything theologically.
Even though The Soul of The Rose was a bit more, shall we say, intellectual, than most romances. it also had heart and emotion- a fitting combination, given the main point of the story- that we should know God not only with our heads, but with our hearts as well.
Celia enters our reading sphere, heavily burdened at the death of a friend. A meeting on a cold fall evening in the bookstore where Celia worked. A man bearish in his demeanour calls to collect the Tennyson by Emerson he had ordered only to be told a page had been torn in his prized purchase, by non other than Celia herself. (Here at the onset she is forgiven for damaging the book. It is only long long after we get to realize the burden she carries is blaming herself for not having forgiven her friend before she died.) His anger blazed mere seconds but the warmth of his good naturedness overcomes him and this story develops into mystery, mayhem, the scent of roses and arrows hitting their targets so that love too blossoms. But even as love blossoms, there is this slender thread of discontent in the brewing. In the words of Celia "But, Edward, there's no 'us' unless this issue of 'religion,' as you call it is resolved. And later to Mrs. Chestley she intimates the trouble of Edward "knowing about God rather than knowing Him" But how does belief and 'knowing God' influence our dynamic duo. for me this is where the story morphs from warm into hot. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.
This was an interesting story that reminded me of some classics I've read. It started out slow, but I became very interested in the romance. Edward Lyons reminded me of Mr. Darcy and he is compared to Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre in the story, which I could also see. I liked the book discussions and theological conversations Celia has with different characters. It was especially interesting to learn about the new idea of transcendentalism that was infiltrating the churches. There are a few men interested in Celia, so there's a bit of a love quadrangle going on and I liked that Celia tries to keep a level head and not let her emotions carry her away. She's a strong Christian and it was fascinating to see how she handled falling for someone who didn't really have faith. I had a hard time getting into the book, but ended up really liking it at the end for it's great message and love story. Check it out if you like historical romance!
I received this book free from Abingdon Press in exchange for an honest review.
Soul of the Rose is about Celia Thatcher who moves away to work for and stay with family friends after the sudden death of her best friend. Celia is an attractive, well read, intelligent young lady who immediately catches the eyes of two very different men. She has also left behind a young man at home who may also be interested. Each man has attractive attributes and disadvantages and Celia wants to make a God honoring choice. When she finally realizes whom she loves will she need to chose between that man and God?
The storytelling was mindful of Jane Austen and other prominent authors who wrote about the Victoria era. The struggles in the book are all internal. Ruth Trippy does a very good job keeping within the mindset of the Victorian area. Her characters talk, think and behave appropriately for the time of 1876.
Overall I greatly enjoyed this novel. It was nice to delve into the thoughts of the characters. I did not notice any deviations from the time period which made this a very pleasant read.
I would love to give this book four stars (and indeed, many reviewers loved it!) but for me this book was a tad slow-moving and melodramatic. I LOVED the setting and the dialogue--this is an excellent book for lovers of Pride & Prejudice and Victorian era dramas. The settings and details are beautifully described and imagined. The main character here, Celia, has basically fled her home because of a mysterious sad occurrence. She works as a bookstore clerk and fends off (flirts with?) three different suitors in her new life. Of course, there are petty dramas, secrets discovered, and more that comes to light over the course of the book. But these developments take place ever-so-slowly...and for me, almost painfully slow. I received this book as an ARC and was honored to read it.
I received this book free from a Good Reads give-away. I really enjoyed the book most of the way through. I knew it had a religious view, I just didn't realize how preachy it would be at the end. As a person of faith, but obviously a different faith than the writer, I didn't necessarily agree with some of her religious views. Up to that point I was thinking what a sweet book with nothing offensive about it at all. It's a book I could give my mother and my daughter and not worry about the content. I still think it was an enjoyable book but dropped fro 4 stars to 3 because of the end.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This novel is the style of those written about 150 years ago. If you like Jane Eyre you will probably like this one. The plot of the novel is nothing unusual and there is not much action. Most of the novel consists of conversation or characters reflecting. I could not identify with the female lead character and I did not like the primary male character. And I found the ending a little lacking. See my full review at http://bit.ly/169Zq3A.
A bookstore, creative lady, mysterious man, witty conversations and this reader's curiosity to want to know how everything would end. What more could I want? The Soul of the Rose was a pleasure to read. I look forward to reading more books by Ruth Trippy.
Now that I've stayed up late to finish this book, I need sleep so I can start another book tomorrow morning.
Ah!! What a story! Ruth Trippy's writing is tender and lyrical and amazing. You can't rush reading this book because you want to savor every word. I love the characters and the town Ruth created. Ruth's voice is perfect for historical novels. I say this is a must read for all.
I really enjoyed this story of Edward and Celia. Celia stood her ground and would not let anyone in town sway her heart one way or another. She , also, held onto her beliefs regarding her religion and how it would affect her relationship with Edward even though she loved him.
After the tragic death of her closest friend, 20-year-old Celia Thatcher is sent to work in the bookstore of family friends. Hoping the new surroundings in Massachusetts will help her regain a happy outlook on life, Celia catches the eye of not one, but two men.