Roses: A Novel
By Leila Meacham
Grand Central Pub., 2010. 609 pgs. Fiction
Mary Toliver doesn’t believe in the curse that has haunted the Toliver family since settling in Texas on their cotton plantation, Somerset. But as Mary’s life unfolds, both she and the reader come to realize that there might be a curse after all. Mary loves Percy Warwick and he loves her, but her stubborn obsession with Somerset hinders her commitment to him. Their inability to commit complicates their lives and causes much secrecy and tragedy for them and their succeeding generations. To say any more would give away the plot in this epic love story that spans generations.
Roses is an engrossing story of Southern honor and manners; rich characters who frustrate you, yet still demand your attention; and seemingly never-ending tragedy. Meacham’s a great storyteller and I was fascinated by the novel. Fans of Gone with the Wind will want to read this one. Don’t be daunted by the length; this is a quick read that I couldn’t put down. Readers beware—there is a bit of graphic language.