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on 16 October 2012
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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on 19 November 2012
For fear of ruining key elements of the story I don't want to go into anymore than the synopsis does.

Rose has such a heartbreaking past and there really is no doubt in my mind that she is a brave woman, yes she is vulnerable and it seems at times as though she is empty inside but with everything life has thrown at her she is still standing.

There are two things that keep Rose going when life gets tough and that's a postcard and her daughter Maddie.
When focused on these things its as though she can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

'Dearest Rose' has such a great mix of characters

The character that I felt lightened the story was Shona (Rose's friend), she is everything that Rose isn't and its these qualities that help Rose.

I had two favourite characters one of whom was Jenny (The owner of the B&B), Jenny comes across at first as stand-offish but once she's got to know someone she is loyal no end and family is extremely important to her.

And the other was Maddie, she's had such a tough young life but still we see some lighter moments through this character and the things she says.

It took me a while to get into the story but once It pulled me in, I couldn't put it down.

This is an emotional read that covers some very hard issues, its written beautifully and handles tough topics with such sensitivity that you can feel the emotion in every page.

I recommend 'Dearest Rose' with tissues and a cup of tea.
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on 31 May 2015
Now the problem here was I'd previously read The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman, and thought it was without doubt one of the best books I've ever read. This book (Runaway Wife), had come highly recommended via a Book Club I'm a member of, but unfortunately, for me, it simply didn't live up to expectation. Certainly a nice easy read, but I felt I knew absolutely everything that was going to happen and predicted with ease the ending. Simply goes to show, one man's meat and all that.... I shall however read more of Ms Coleman, because based on The Memory Book, she's brilliant!
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on 5 April 2013
I have read all of Rowan Coleman's books, but it has taken me a while to get round to reading this one. I wasn't so enthusiastic because I felt that it wasn't the sort of story I would enjoy, the subject matter sounded a bit harrowing and the story sounded unhappy. Despite all my reservations I loved this book and even though I cried (a lot), and yes some parts of the book are sad, it isn't an unhappy story. It is an amazing story about a woman who breaks free and escapes the awful life that has some how become hers and in doing so finds she has the courage to face her past and the strength to take on her future. This is a beautifully written novel and is most definitely Rowan's best book so far. A moving but uplifting story which stays with you long after you have finished reading. No wonder it has won the Epic Romantic Novel of the Year award this year. Well done Rowan and thank you for a fabulous book.
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on 20 May 2013
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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on 1 May 2015
Lost the will to finish this book, mainly as it sunk further ,and deeper into teenage fiction,
It became more and more, ridiculous with each chapter,
At one point, I reread the reviews, thinking they were about another book,
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on 20 February 2015
I loved it but why has this book been re-released under a new name and why isn't that made clear on Amazon? I bought this book as Dearest Rose and loved it. Don't want anyone else making the same mistake as me and wasting their money, if they've already read it under a different name!
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on 23 April 2013
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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on 11 April 2014
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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on 8 February 2015
I love the way that Rowan weaves in real issues into her wonderfully rich novels - not something which is easy to do! Her prose is delicious and her characters well drawn. Thank you for a fantastic read
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