In “The Rose Garden”, Eva Ward returns to Trelowarth, a house on the Cornish coast where she and her sister spent many happy childhood summers. Now twenty years later, she is going to scatter her sister’s ashes. Trying to come to terms with her sister’s sudden loss, Eva hopes to find solace in the old house and its surroundings but instead, finds herself transported back to the eighteenth century, when Trelowarth was owned by Daniel and Jack Butler, smugglers and Jacobites only steps ahead of the law. As Eva is tossed between times, she is torn between Daniel, a kindred spirit who has himself experienced great loss, and Trelowarth’s modern owners who have hit financial difficulties. Pulled between the past and present, Eva begins to question to which time she truly belongs.
Kearsley is a master at weaving the past and the present together with a supernatural twist. Rich with period and location details, this book is not as gripping as “The Firebird” but has a twist at the end that is thought provoking and well worth the wait. Kearsley’s books feel like a giant puzzle whose pieces magically click into place by the last page. On one hand, you can’t wait to see how she brings everything together. On the other, you are sad when she does because it means the story is over, but in the case of these books, the journey is always worth it.