The Rose Garden
by Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks Landmark, 2011. 441 pages. Romance.
Eva Ward, mourning the loss of her sister, takes her ashes back to the estate on the coast of Cornwall where the two spent happy summers as children before their parents were killed in a tragic car accident. Now alone in the world, Eva decides to spend another summer enjoying the slower pace of Cornish life before deciding where to go next. But walking through the grounds of the estate, she suddenly finds herself transported to 1715 and into the life of intrepid smuggler Daniel Butler and his quest to oust the Hanoverian King George from the throne. As Eva becomes more and more caught up in her life in the past over her life in the present, will she decide that perhaps the past is where she is supposed to stay, after all?
I know what you're thinking: Is time travel realistic? Would anyone choose to live in 1715 over today? Isn't this just a novelistic version of the 1980 movie Somewhere In Time? And my only response is that you should still read this book because it was amazing.
Susanna Kearsley has an exceptional way of writing both contemporary and historical fiction and is able to blend the two together seamlessly. She specializes in the Jacobite rebellions of the early 1700s (many of her books feature this time period) and she puts a lot of detail into everything that is going on. In addition, her prose is exquisitely crafted and her characters are fascinating. Is a time travel plot realistic? No, but this one is definitely worth reading. There may have been some strong language used a time or two, but I'll be honest and say that I was so caught up in the plot, especially by the end, that I didn't even notice.