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5,0 sur 5 étoilesCozy cottage, Cosy mystery
Commenté au Canada le 28 février 2018
Mary Stewart, comforting as always, offering a pastoral scene where good ultimately prevails. Her female protagonists are always strong women with careers and brains and "spunk". Rose Cottage takes you back to the period immediately after the second world war, but it does not feel dated. And her final thought - the rose matters more than its roots - is still relevant.
Kate Herrick is a young war-widow who is trying to rebuild her life in London. She is emotionally scarred by the recent loss of her husband in a flying mission over France, but even more so by her illegitimate birth and the disappearance and subsequent death of her young mother who ran away when Kate was only five. Kate's ailing grandmother, who raised her and is her only surviving relative, asks her to travel to the modest house where she was born, Rose Cottage, to retrieve some family papers and valuables from a small safe hidden under wallpaper. Kate's return to her childhood haunts triggers a wave of gossip and speculation in the village as well as ghostly visions by the local “seer”.
A gentle exploration of friendship, home-coming and forgiveness, this is Lady Stewart's last novel, published when she was 81 years old. It is, as usual, very well-written, evocative and full of engaging characters, as well as some who are downright nasty, but the style is quite different from her earlier, action-driven stories and there is a distinct lack of the familiar suspense-romance combo that makes her previous novels so compelling. I liked the story for its heart-warming depiction of life in a small community where it is impossible to keep a secret, and for its strong portrayal of the two main female characters. This is a mature, contemplative and somewhat nostalgic look at Britain in the aftermath of the devastation wreaked by WWII but the slow pace and lack of romantic content and fast action may disappoint those who enjoyed her earlier novels.
I have read about a half dozen of Mary Stewart's books, and while I don't think Rose Cottage is her best, I did enjoy it.
The story, which takes place in a small English village after World War 2, is gentle and calm, and at times quite entertaining. This story contains no danger or violence. It's not thrilling, but it is interesting enough to keep turning the pages until the ending, which I must say is extremely happy. Everything turns out perfectly for Kathy.
My only complaint about the book would be its predictability. From almost the first chapter, I knew pretty much what the ending would be. But I would recommend Rose Cottage to any who would like a quick, easy, entertaining read, which is gentle rather than suspenseful or violent. The ending will definitely make you smile, if nothing else.
This is a mildly suspenseful, atmospheric novel about a young, war widow, Kate Herrick, who in 1947 at the request of her ill grandmother in Scotland goes to Rose Cottage, her childhood home in the English countryside. Kate is to retrieve some of her grandmother's documents and personal belongings. When she gets there, however, she discovers that she is too late. Someone has been there before her. As Kate investigates the mysterious disappearance of her grandmother's property, she ends up discovering somethings about her own past. Well written and redolent of a bygone era, the book unravels a pleasant, uncomplicated story. Never too mysterious and not one of the author's best efforts, the book is a predictable, though somewhat enjoyable, read.
I was engrossed from Chapter 1. It wasn't as dangerously dramatic or violently romantic as her other books (all of which I've enjoyed, so far), but it had drama, it was romantic. The story was beautifully written, realistically conveyed; the plot gracefully woven, not cluttered. All the things we seem to need in our books and films these days, romance, scandal, suspense, deceit, death... were there, and in their place, not exploded to overwhelming proportions. I recognised some of the people she described, most of us have known similar, in our own spheres. Sometimes you want a comfortable read, but nothing too dull... and this is the book for it.
I really enjoyed this book. "Rose Cottage" is the first book I have read by Mary Stewart, and I really loved it! I am an avid mystery reader and romantic suspense reader and this had a little of both, not much romance, tough. The main character is Kate or Kathy and she returns to her old childhood home in England called Rose Cottage. Her grandmother has sent her there to retrieve some old keep sakes from a safe Kate never new had existed. Kate arrives there to find the entire safe empty. During this mystery, she meets old friends and comes across new mystries, and most shocking of all the dark secrets from her past and her family. You will enjoy this book! Read it!
Some reviewers labour under the misapprehension that this was written 'many decades ago' or was an 'early' or even a first novel. It was in fact Mary Stewart's last book, written when she was 81 (it's all there in the blurb). No, it doesn't have the breathless action and suspense and romance of the earlier books; it is a work of great maturity, gentle yet deep. I get the feeling she drew quite hevily on her own life as a young woman. As always, it's beautifully written. Gorgeous.
This I think is not what you normally expect from Mary Stewart, there is not much of the 'other worldly' element to it, nor is it anyway a runaway suspenseful mystery. It is simply a story of Rose Cottage and it's inhabitants as well as the estate where it is located and the village where it all happens.
Kate, returns to Rose Cottage at her grandmother's behest to retrieve family papers and small treasures before the cottage is renovated and reused as part of the estate's future. Kate remembers living their with her mother and grandmother and it being a happy home, despite not knowing her father.
When Kate's Great Aunt Betsy moves in the place changes and it is not as rosy as life could be for a small child. Even more so, when her mother runs off with a gipsy and never returns. The only news that she has died in a bus accident some years later.
Back at her childhood cottage with her childhood friends around her, Kate begins the task she set out to do, retrieve the papers but it seems that someone has got there before her.
Despite the cottage being emptied since Kate's grandmother left, it appears to have been occupied somehow. There have been lights seen. The garden has been dug in places. And a mysterious figure or two has been spotted.
It all seems rather strange and ghostly, but this does not stop Kate facing these ghosts and staying at Rose Cottage to see her task through to the end. Kate finds out a lot about her family through the secrets that Rose Cottage seems to be holding and along with the premonitions from the local witch, and some interfering village gossips, it seems that perhaps it is not all that mysterious and very straightforward.
This was a nice gentle novel. It reflected the lies that are told within families, to either protect them from the past or even the future. Mary Stewart creates an atmosphere with her novels but describing the landscape in detail as well as the life of a little village, where despite a war and a marriage Kate seems to be still known to many. Especially a local lad who she grew up with, but has never ventured very far from his home.
An ideal novel, for a cosy afternoon and if in a cottage then even better.
5,0 sur 5 étoilesAnother smasher from Mary Stewart.
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 5 janvier 2021
Not her usual type of novel. it's not a thriller with the heroine under threat and people who aren't what they seem to be but having said that it is a great piece of escapism. Beautifully written with believable characters and an almost gentle storyline, it was a joy to read.
3,0 sur 5 étoilesBoring - unlike the author's other books
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 3 mars 2019
Having read (and enjoyed) almost all the author's other books, I was delighted to discover that there was one I hadn't red yet. Alas... it's so boring. Chapter after chapter of happy memories and kind people, no action, no suspense, nothing to grab my interest. I read half the book with increasing frustration, then gave up.