Fiction · Sadie J

Roses | by Leila Meacham

Roses by Leila Meacham
(Grand Central Publishing, 2011, 640 pages)

Growing up Mary Toliver fell in love with her family’s cotton Plantation, Somerset, and would do anything to keep it in the family. So when her father dies and leaves almost the entire plantation to Mary whileleaving her mother and brother out of his will, it causes some expected and unexpected problems. Her family is torn apart and things keep getting in the way of Mary and her true love, Percy Warwicks, and they end up living in regret. Now Mary is at the end of her life and she suddenly decides to sell Somerset instead of leaving it to Rachel, her great niece, which would keep the plantation in the family. In order to make Rachel understand her reasoning, some secrets must be revealed that people have tried for years to cover up.

Meacham spanned three generations of the Toliver’s and Warwick’s but even with its depth, I never felt the story was dragging. I thought Meacham’s writing was engaging and her characters were dynamic. I really enjoyed this read because even though there was never a happy ending for Mary and Percy, it gave hope for a younger generation of the Toliver’s and Warwick’s.

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