This author does not hesitate to tackle some difficult subjects. It's a great story with an involved cast of characters. The time shifts usually work well although you need to keep on your toes. Well done for a good read.
The Rosebrook Chronicles is something of an understated masterpiece, weaving together several narrative strands and disparate characters to create an important, powerful work. The characters are deftly drawn, the writing is strong, and the sense of time and place as the tale works its way through the decades is perfectly judged. The complex moral questions around crime, politics, religion and abuse are remarkable well-handled. All in all, an excellent book that's definitely got me interested in Helen Christmas' other work.
Another cracker from Helen J Christmas. If you have read her series Same Face Different Place you will see this book tells the remarkable story of three of her characters from that series and their stories which lead them to an enthralling chain of events. I loved Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories so much. This author has a rare talent for drawing you in and becoming so involved with the characters you just can't get them out of your mind. It is storytelling at it's best, and if you haven't read her previous series I highly recommend you do so. Well done Helen J Christmas.
This book is a prequel to the ‘Same Face Different Place’ series by the same author. It gives a very thought-provoking account of the different ways that childhood abuse can shape the future lives of its victims. The way the author portrays the separate journeys of the principle characters is really engaging and the denouement very satisfying, with all the plot strands pulled together nicely. The character development is very good, providing useful background to some of the characters in the ‘Same Face Different Place’ series. If you haven’t read the books in this series, I would recommend reading this book first; if you have, it still makes a great read, revealing the fascinating back story.
5☆ A Dark, Engrossing, Domestic Noir, I couldn't put down!
Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories is a Dark, Emotive and Compelling Read that I couldn't put down, at times it was heart wrenching and dark, to read but so Engrossing.
This is a story of three very different young children as the story progresses we learn about their lives and how their past, shapes their future.
It's a story that at times isn't an easy read and does contain sensitive subjects such as child abuse and violence but Helen has handled them with the right amount of sensitivity to still make an impact.
The story follows Peter and his Sister Bessie And Robin.
Bessie and Peter were split up and sent to different Children's homes in Ireland. Bessie went to school with Nuns where they were cruel and abusive. But eventually she was adopted and sent to England. But all was not as it seems when she turned 15 she fell in love with her adopted Father and she become infatuated with him. But was the signs there from the beginning, with the special gifts!
Peter found out his Sister left Ireland and he run away from his Orphanage at the Church to look for Bessie, but Bessie's new family made it near on impossible for him to track her down!
Robin who is very intelligent, run away at 15 after his father beat him for wanting to continue his education. His Teacher took him in and became his guardian, he fell in love with his teacher who in fact was grooming him all along. By the time he left to go to uni his teacher was arrested on several counts of abuse. But it didn't stop there for Robin as his trusting nature and hunger for power led him down a dark and slippery route of politics, seedy nightlife and underhanded tactics.
So as you can see each of the stories are weaved together connecting a heart breaking and abusive past and the abuse and manipulation carries through to their adult life.
Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories is an Gripping, Dark and Emotive Read about Abuse, Strength, Manipulation, Grooming, Sexual Exploration, Self Discovery, Fitting In, Power, Struggles, Family, Heart Break, Bullying, Politics, Violence, Lies, Secrets and Relationships. The Characters are desperately flawed and complex but strong and extremely well written. All of the stories are weaved together seamlessly, although heart breaking you can't help rooting for them the whole way through.
My only gripe was the political side of the story, I don't understand politics and found myself drifting, I would of preferred more of Robin's darker side. But that's just because it doesn't interest me, and I certainly wouldn't mark it down because of it.
So if you a looking for a Dark Domestic Noir, that has a touch of Suspense, gripping storylines, is Emotive, yet Engrossing then you will love Rosebrook Chronicles The Hidden Stories. I love Helen J. Christmas books and this is another Gem of a book. Her books just keep getting better and better!
I downloaded this on KU. When siblings Peter and Bessie became orphans, they thought they would be looked after. Robin was an intelligent sensitive teenager who wanted to better himself. As I am writing this review, this story is still affecting me. I love dark reads but I found parts of this book a difficult read and there were times I had to take a break. Saying that this heart-breaking subject matter was written sensitively and I knew that I wanted to finish this story as I wanted to know how their lives worked out. At the start, each child is introduced separately and you get to know them in fine detail, but as they story continued, I enjoyed how their lives were interwoven with each other. As you read their story, there is no confusion about who the scenes are about. This story was well researched, with the historical facts running through the book, you really feel as you are following these characters throughout their lives. Whilst I have not read others from this series, I felt that I had not missed out on anything as reading the author’s bio, this book features lesser-known characters of the series. However, I am now intrigued about the other books in the series and will look out for them to read. A hard read but I am glad I read it.
I loved this prequel to the ‘Same Face Different Place’ series, which gives us the back stories of some of the characters. With a sure-footed sense of time and place, the author takes us on an exhilarating journey, examining some challenging moral issues along the way. Her sensitive handling of the long-term effects of childhood abuse is particularly impressive, and she never fails to tap into the depths of her characters’ emotions. The way all the stories weave together was also very satisfying. You do not need to have read the series to enjoy this book, but this thought-provoking prequel is sure to make you want to dive into it.