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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dearest Rose
A friend of mine once said that the light at the end of the tunnel is the next train about to hit you - I mention this here because I think it describes perfectly Dearest Rose in that just as you thought something positive (dare I say it .... something nice) was about to happen to Rose another 'train' seemed to come trundling along knocking her back down again...
Published 22 months ago by Tracy Terry

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sad but captivating
I found this book a little difficult at time and a bit slow but all in all it was a lovely read with an inspiring character who kept you turning the pages! A little serious after a hard day in the office but I wanted to see how this one ended and it was worth the wait
Published 12 months ago by Miss J Jackson


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dearest Rose, 28 Sep 2012
This review is from: Dearest Rose (Paperback)
A friend of mine once said that the light at the end of the tunnel is the next train about to hit you - I mention this here because I think it describes perfectly Dearest Rose in that just as you thought something positive (dare I say it .... something nice) was about to happen to Rose another 'train' seemed to come trundling along knocking her back down again.

Sounds depressing?

I won't lie to you, there were aspects to the story that were harrowing but I wouldn't describe the story as depressing as there were so many elements that, though they had me reaching for the tissues, were what I can only describe as life affirming.

Beautifully penned, Dearest Rose takes you on an emotional roller-coaster of a ride with some truly heart-stopping moments but what most impressed me was the depth of the characters.

Concerned at first that this was going to be one of those novels in which all the female characters were written as paragons of virtue, the male characters as, well, less than desirable I was greatly pleased to discover a wonderful array of characters who, whether you loved them or hated them, brought something to the book as their part in Rose's life unfolded bit by bit.

DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of the Arrow (A member of the Random House Group) I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.

Dearest Rose
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some minor errors in proofreading, but story is excellent., 16 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Dearest Rose (Kindle Edition)
After Rose and her seven-year-old daughter Maddie turn up at a B&B in the Cumbrian town of Millthwaite at 3am, we learn about their back story and of the horrors they have endured.

Rose, a product of a dysfunctional parentage, hadn't seen her Dad, John, since she was nine. Her mother Marian couldn't cope with John's abandonment and neglected her daughter, then committed suicide by drowning. Rose, alone at seventeen, drifts into a marriage with Richard, who is controlling and abusive. The only person who has shown love to Rose is Frasier, who met her once, for a short time, whilst he was trying to find her artist father.

I am not a fan of fiction involving abuse but this story unfolds very gently and offers little bits of information as the reader goes on. As Rose slowly recovers, the story of her marriage gets worse, to the point of reason for her swift departure.

High points of characterisation is of Maddie, who lives in her own world where she can't be hurt, and lacks social niceties. She tells people exactly the truth which can be uncomfortable to listen to, and she lacks friends. At first I thought Maddie had autistic tendencies, but as the story progresses I found out how Rose's marriage has affected her. The other great character is Shona, Rose's best friend, who is bolshy and tarty and also a victim of domestic abuse, so there are parallels. I sensed a point being made about social class, as Shona is depicted to be more working class than Rose, the point being a bad relationship can happen to anyone. Shona was looking for a happy ending, and believed her partner could provide it.

Rose re-starts a relationship with her father and it ends up being a saviour. Frasier, John's agent, seems unattainable to Rose, but of course, we all know this will change. The story is about love, and mending oneself, and redemption.

The Kindle edition had some proofreading problems such as spelling errors and missing punctuation, and this detracted slightly from the finished product. Can't fault the story though.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into another league..., 29 Oct 2012
By 
Welsh Annie (Wetherby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dearest Rose (Paperback)
I finished this book in the early hours last night, thoroughly enjoyed every moment although I felt like I'd been through a wringer, and it's most definitely one of my books of the year. Rowan Coleman has always been more at the "thinking woman" end of the chick lit spectrum, but this one moved her writing into a whole new league for me. All the chick lit staples are there - the sexy young barman, the scatty friend, the near misses and misunderstandings - but this is a book with a really dark underside, and some of the strongest female characters you'll find anywhere. Maddie, Rose's unusual seven year old daughter, is a wonderful creation and an absolute joy - with some of the best conversational gambits and one-liners ever, but with a soft underside that melts your heart. Equally strong are Jenny the landlady - an excellent character - and Shona, Rose's brash but troubled friend. The book builds slowly, bringing in elements of the back story to reveal the full picture, and the last third is exciting, emotional, draining and satisfying in turn. The writing is effortless, which makes the reading that way too, and I can't recommend it too highly.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional read, 27 Sep 2012
By 
Sharon (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dearest Rose (Paperback)
I have to confess that I've only read the last couple of Rowan Coleman's books so I've got a whole back catalogue of her books to catch up on. Having loved her last book, Lessons in Laughing Out Loud, I had been looking forward to reading this although I had a hunch that this book would be a bit of a weepie and I was definitely right.

From the start when Rose and her young daughter Maddie turn up unannounced at a B&B in the middle of the night with just the clothes on their backs, you know that something awful has happened in her life to make her run. But what is her story and why has she chosen this remote area in the Cumbrian countryside?

It's soon apparent that it was fate that brought her to Millthwaite as she discovers that someone from her past, someone she thought she would never see again, lives in the village. Will he be pleased to see her and can they rebuild bridges before it's too late?

It certainly turns out that coming to Millthwaite was the perfect tonic for them both, as Rose is able to step out of the shadows and blossom into the person she's meant to be, and Maddie can enjoy a normal happy childhood surrounded by people who love her.

For me this was a very emotional book to read as I could relate to some of the experiences that Rose and Maddie had endured, especially Maddie who had seen and heard things that no child should be witness to. But despite the heartbreaking topics that are covered in this book, I have to say they have been handled with extreme sensitivity. But it's not all doom, there are plenty of light relief moments throughout as well.

There is a wonderful mix of characters throughout the book, the vulnerable but resilient Rose, strong-willed Shona, Rose's friend, who's facing her own dramas, Jenny and Brian, the B&B owners who welcome Rose and Maddie into their family and many more. But I have to say my favourite character of all was young Maddie who seems very wise beyond her years, she provided some entertaining moments with the things she says and does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and moving., 14 April 2014
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This review is from: Dearest Rose (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved this book and read it in one sitting. I was literally unable to sleep until I reached the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read women's fiction, 11 April 2014
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This review is from: Dearest Rose (Kindle Edition)
A great central character and the most gorgeous setting. Loved the atmosphere and Rowan Coleman's easy style of writing. The story flows effortlessly and she deals with some difficult themes. Lovely stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Rowan., 20 May 2013
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This review is from: Dearest Rose (Paperback)
Rowan Coleman's Dearest Rose won the 2013 Romantic Novel of the Year, Epic category, and rightfully so. It's a story of regrets, family relationships, mistakes and love, which come in many forms.
If you're a reader who wants to be moved, made to shiver, laugh and shed a tear, Dearest Rose is for you.
It's a story that will remain within me for some time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!, 17 May 2013
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This review is from: Dearest Rose (Kindle Edition)
It's not very often that a book makes me cry, but this one did. I sobbed like I did when I read a book about a deer when I was 12.
Please please read this book then pick up the phone to your daddy and tell him all about your life and how much he is your hero as you just never know.
Thanks Rowan for a real heart rending read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Dearest Rose (Kindle Edition)
This book took a bit of getting Into but after that it's an incredible read.
Maddie is an absolute joy.
Anyone would love thus book.
Thus is the second book this that I've read by Rowan Coleman and now I'm going to read the rest.
Easily worthy of its 5* and more
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely read, 16 April 2013
This review is from: Dearest Rose (Paperback)
I haven't read any Rowan Coleman books before but will be going onto look for another.
It's the kind of book that is light enough to enjoy at bedtime but intelligent enough to be thought provoking.
The story unravels carefully and is surprising but does make you question what goes on behind apparently respectable fronts in society.
There are several well rounded characters, not just Rose who is a strong and rather courageous protagonist, but also the B and B owners who welcome her and her daughter. Don't want to give away any spoilers but this will keep you reading up to the last surprising pages.
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Dearest Rose
Dearest Rose by Rowan Coleman (Paperback - 27 Sep 2012)
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