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

Her Name Is Rose

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  518 ratings  ·  126 reviews
People used to say Iris Bowen was beautiful, what with the wild weave of her red hair, the high cheekbones, and the way she carried herself like a barefoot dancer through the streets of Ranelagh on the outskirts of Dublin city. But that was a lifetime ago.

In a cottage in the west of Ireland, Iris--gardener and mother to an adopted daughter, Rose--is doing her best to carry
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by St. Martin's Press
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 Her Name Is Rose, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Her Name Is Rose

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  518 ratings  ·  126 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Her Name Is Rose
Julie Christine
Iris Bowen lives in the west of Ireland, where it is still possible to submit to a soft-focus dream of a misty-green land of softly rolling hills and air scented with roses and blue sea. Iris has always lived an unassuming life, devoted to her husband and her adopted daughter, Rose. But her husband died two years ago, her daughter has moved to London, her newspaper gardening column has been axed, and a troubling shadow has appeared on her mammography x-ray. Only in her mid-forties, Iris must acc ...more
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

Her Name Is Rose is about Iris Bowen, a recently widowed gardener and blogger, adoptive mother of Rose who lives in Ireland. Iris receives some potentially alarming news about her health, so in order to fulfill a promise she made to her husband, Luke, on his deathbed, she begins to search for Rose's birth mother. In the end, everything comes together for Iris and Rose.

This novel has potential, but at times it was uneven and some of the events are just not believable. However, it was an
Susan Johnson
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
I am not sure why a publisher wants to saddle a debut novel with the unrealistic comparison to Maeve Binchey. It's not true and it leaves the reader with unfilled expectations and a slight disappointment. It's too bad because this was a nice novel that could have stood on its own without the hype. I enjoyed the book but felt deflated because it didn't live up to its promise.

The story centers around a couple in Ennis, Ireland, who adopted a girl who is great at fiddle playing. The father dies o
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Her Name Is Rose
Christine Breen

My " in a nutshell" summary...

I call this kind of book a "full circle" book. It has a sad sweet start...lots of issues, lots more sadnesses, bits of happinesses and it circles back around to a satisfying ending. Perhaps not the ending that any of us might want but still an ending that brings peace and resolution.

So without saying too much...this book is filled with the sweetest and sometimes saddest's a book of arrivals as well as departures. Rose
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Iris Bowen is a widow, two years in time and forever in her heart. She mourns the loss of her husband Luke every day, losing herself only in her gardening and her daughter Rose. Iris struggles with her promise to Luke that she'd locate Rose's birth mother, while worries for her future health and Rose's happiness. . Rose is struggling with her own grief and the pressure of training as a classical violinist. This book chronicles a personal journey that will test both women's strength and trust. Al ...more
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
A pretty tale of the complexities of the various relationships surrounding the people impacted by adoption with the additional of lovely bits about flowers.
Some plot elements are a bit of a stretch at times with coincidental meetings and the ability and willingness of the characters to buy last minute international airfares and set off for unknown places at the drop of the hat. These elements, however, are forgivable as they allow the story to read like the modern fairy tales we find within Hol
nikkia neil
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received this book from goodreads for review.

This is a very sad book in a lot of ways. My mom was adopted and she always wanted to find her birth parents just to know something about them. she loved my grandmother and didn't want to hurt her feelings, so she waited till she was in her 40's to search. She was not able to find anything because of the privacy laws, but she always talks about what she might have found. I really liked this book, and I will be giving it to my mom to read.
Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
Book #6 for the March 2018 Irish Readathon which I participated in and found through Aoife's youtube channel - I'm not sure if it counts but the book is set in Ireland and written by the writer who's living in Ireland as well :)

WTF Are You Reading?
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Her Name Is Rose is a story of connectedness. Its beginnings, endings, reasons, and justifications.
Iris Bowen is a woman who should be enjoying the settled life of a married empty-nester. Instead she finds herself grieving the loss of a husband, suddenly sacked from her job, and facing the "what if's" of what her doctor has referred to as an "architectural distortion" in one of her breasts.
With the possible diagnosis of a malignancy looming on the horizon of her immediate future, Iris is reminde
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
**I requested this book from the publisher and was lucky enough to receive it for review.**

I enjoyed this book! I don't think I expected it to be a contemporary book when I requested it, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The story centers mainly around two people, Iris and Rose, who are mother and daughter. Though it is told in 4 perspectives throughout the book. Iris and Rose both do a portion of the story telling and we find out about the losses they have had in their lives and that neither of th
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a debut novel for Christine Breen and based on the novel, I predict more great books from her in the future. She's not Maeve Binchy yet (as advertised) but has the potential to get to that level.

Iris is a gardner and blogger in Ireland and has been a widow since her husband Luke died several years earlier from cancer. Their adopted daughter Rose is 29 and studying at a prestigious music institute in London. As the novel begins, Iris receives a bad report on a mammogram and and because sh
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
With the background of Ireland, the story of Iris, a gardener and mother, and her daughter, Rose, will warm your heart. Without giving away the whole story, Iris is worried about her health, and since her husband died 2 years earlier, she worries about Rose and a promise she made to her husband. I really liked this one.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Iris is an Irish woman with an adopted daughter Rose. Her husband passed away a couple of years before and now Iris has had a breast cancer scare. She is very worried that if something happens to her that her daughter, Rose, will be left without any family.

Iris had promised her husband that she would try to find Rose's birth mother, whose name was Hilary, so that there would be someone for Rose. Iris begins her search and discovers that she has to make a trip to Boston in the US to find Hilary.

Jan 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
I was asked to read this as an advance copy. This book lacks cohesiveness. This book is written not just from the viewpoint of the mother and daughter as portrayed in the blurb about the book, but also contains three other viewpoints. I felt it was too much and that it wasn't pulled together well. The transitions from chapter to chapter are not very well done and in one case, you're left with a cliffhanger and then the author doesn't even touch on it until the middle of the next chapter written ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it
The plot sounded really interesting. Luke and Iris Bowen adopted a baby girl they named Rose. Now Rose is off to college and Iris is a widow. On his deathbed Luke made Iris promise to find Rose’s birthmother in case something happened to Iris. Luke and Iris both were only children and their parents had already died. Luke did not want Rose to be left alone in the world. However, Iris is very reluctant to follow through on her promise. Rose is dealing with her own grief and has a lot of pressure o ...more
Meh. Actually a two-and-a-half star. This book started out fairly strong, as far as character-driven dramas go. I enjoyed the lushness of the prose, of the Irish gardens and the sweltering city of Boston and the bustle of London. There were certain story lines I was more excited for, and the author started with this urgency that was really catching. It was the loss of this urgency that really soured this for me. Her Name is Rose was one of those books that tied itself up too neatly, and too soon ...more
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Her Name is Rose by Christine Breen sure struck a fantastic chord with me. I loved this book. It was just a wonderful story. It takes place in the west of Ireland. It is the story of Iris and Rose Bowen. Iris is a gardener and Rose is a violin/fiddle player. The story develops their characters, and their friends, beautifully. I loved how the characters didn't just walk past a rose bush, but explained exactly how that rose bush was looking that day. This was just a fun, beautifully lyrical book. ...more
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it
2.8 stars. Not sure I would recommend it. I always feel bad when I don't love an Advanced Readers Copy of a book. I read this in a day and honestly skimmed through parts of it as I was trying to get to the heart of the story. I was half way through the book before another main character and his backstory was introduced. The 2 love story's felt forced and the story wrapped up in a neat bow which was nice but added to the lack of depth to the story.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting tale about the far reaching impacts of adoption. It was a good light read and should appeal to readers of women’s fiction or romance novels.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.

Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found the plot very irritating. A middle aged woman has a routine mammogram and is asked to go for further testing. Most women would worry a little and be glad when the second test is scheduled within days. Not this woman. She skips the second appointment and flies off to Boston, Mass, telling no-one where she is, in order to look for the birth mother of her adopted daughter armed with only a name and an address that is 19 years out of date. Meanwhile, the adopted daughter is having her own cr ...more
Maurynne  Maxwell
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Look no further for a Mother’s Day or graduation gift, or a special treat for yourself. There’s a space in Irish women’s fiction right between wise Maeve Binchy and touch-of-magic Cecilia Ahern—and Christine Breen, with her wisdom, humor, and sheer good-heartedness, fits in it beautifully.

Her Name Is Rose is an exploration of love in many forms. Twenty years ago, Iris and her husband Luke adopted Rose. They had a wonderful life in Ireland together as a family for eighteen years. Then Luke died.
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads
People used to say Iris Bowen was beautiful, what with the wild weave of her red hair, the high cheekbones, and the way she carried herself like a barefoot dancer through the streets of Ranelagh on the outskirts of Dublin city. But that was a lifetime ago.

In a cottage in the west of Ireland, Iris--gardener and mother to an adopted daughter, Rose--is doing her best to carry on after the death of her husband two years before. At the back of her mind is a promise she never intended to keep, until t
Katherine Jones
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This was one of those rare but delightful occasions when a novel exceeded my expectations. I try not to quote other reviewers or endorsers very often, but this one from Jane Harris (Gillespie and I) is worth repeating: “It’s hard to do ‘nice,’ and Breen does it very well.”

At first, I struggled just a little to connect with what struck me as Iris’ overreaction to the news that she might have breast cancer. Maybe because I’ve had that news myself and didn’t react in quite the same way, maybe it’s
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story is so touching and a great read about the relationship of a mother and her adopted daughter and how it's no different in the magnitude of love exchanged as that of a mother with her biological child. Iris has lost her husband to illness and wants to fulfill the promise she made to him to connect their adopted daughter - Rose - with her biological mother. However, adoptions are closed in Ireland and unless there is a mutual interest from both mother and child, the information as to eac ...more
Tony Parsons
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rose Rosie Bowen (19, daughter, violinist, nee Barrett), attends the Royal Academy in London, England. Her adopted father Luke Bowen (solicitor) passed away 2 yrs. ago, & she at times thinks of him.

Iris Bowen (step-mom) Iris Bowen (step-mom) tends her flower garden to pass the time.
Iris promises her husband she will help Rose find her biological mother.
There are several leads but nothing concrete.
Iris has gotten news she has breast cancer. She doesn’t’ show up for her ultrasound & biopsy.

Mar 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
This slow-moving debut novel tells the story of the titular Rose, the adopted daughter of Iris and Luke. Since Luke’s death two years earlier, Iris has been putting off he promise to Luke to locate Rose’s birth mother to give Rose more family support. This search takes Iris all the way from western Ireland to Boston. But the storyline isn’t limited to just Iris’ perspective - though at times this shifting perspective is a bit too unexpected and takes some time to connect back to the larger story ...more
Life is changing dramatically for Iris. She lost her husband Luke two years ago to cancer, her daughter Rose has left to study violin at the Royal Academy in London and her mammogram came back with some abnormalities. Iris and Luke adopted Rose, and Luke made Iris promise to search out Rose's birth mother. With fear of cancer, Iris feels compelled to fulfill that promise. So on a whim she flys to Boston to confront the birth mother. While there she meets an eclectic group of people who open her ...more
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
When Rose's adoptive mother Iris Bowen faces a breast cancer scare, she decides she needs to fulfill a promise to her dying husband: she goes looking for Rose's birth mother.The search leads her from Ireland to Boston and back again, while Rose, a student at the Royal Academy of Music in London, undergoes some soul searching of her own. This is a sweet story, but it is not very surprising, abounding in coincidences that mostly resolve in a good way, with everything wrapping up positively in the ...more
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was interested in reading this debut novel because it has been compared to the work of Maeve Binchy, who is one of my favorite authors. Like Binchy, Christine Breen set her novel in Ireland (with side trips to London and Boston), and she also has Binchy's ability to create interesting characters that I came to like very much. I did find the reason for the beginning of Iris' search for her adopted daughter's birth mother did not ring true--why hadn't Iris and her husband discussed this before?- ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading Group Gold: Her Name is Rose Christine Breen Discussion Questions 1 5 May 19, 2016 07:57AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Credible Threat (Ali Reynolds, #15)
  • A Private Cathedral (Dave Robicheaux #23)
  • The Last Runaway
  • Before I Go
  • The Prisoner in the Castle (Maggie Hope, #8)
  • A Star for Mrs. Blake
  • Trace Elements (Comissario Guido Brunetti #29)
  • Close Up (Burning Cove #4)
  • A Thousand Moons (Days Without End #2)
  • Once Upon a River
  • The Last Camellia
  • Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
  • A Forgotten Murder
  • Dead Land
  • Letter from a Stranger
  • Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope
  • The Paris Spy (Maggie Hope, #7)
  • No Man's Nightingale (Inspector Wexford  #24)
See similar books…
Her Name is Rose is Christine's debut novel.

Born and raised in New York and educated in Boston and Dublin, she now lives in the west of Ireland. In addition to being a writer, Christine is an artist, homeopath and garden designer. Along with her husband, the novelist Niall Williams, she co-authored four bestselling non-fiction books on country living in County Clare, which were published by Soho P

News & Interviews

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
28 likes · 46 comments