Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rose House, by Tina Ann Forkner

Tina Ann Forkner's second novel, Rose House, is an engrossing and worthy successor to her outstanding first book, Ruby Among Us. In Rose House, Forkner revisits La Rosaleda, a fictional town set in the beautiful Sonoma Valley of California.

I'd call the plot of Rose House "a mystery wrapped in an enigma," to paraphrase Winston Churchill. The main character, Lillian Diamon, is mourning the loss of her family when she finds herself drawn to the fabled Rose House in La Rosaleda. Forkner starts the pages turning right away, with a mysterious photographer who is spying on Lillian. From there the story spins out question after question. We walk in Lillian's shoes as she lives through her grief and confusion--each new revelation deepening the mystery of what happened to her family.

As always, Forkner evokes emotion with her skillful phrasing. One line I particularly loved has Lillian reflecting, "My house is worse than an empty shell. It is full and overflowing with what is missing."

The story is filled with a sense of menace. We share Lillian's doubts about whom she can trust. The reader is drawn further into Rose House to answer questions raised about each of the fully-drawn characters that Forkner introduces. As the plot lines converge, the book sweeps to a heart-stopping conclusion.

The characters became real to me--I'm still thinking about them. I loved the way this novel resolved. I had tears in my eyes when I read the ending.

I recommend Rose House!


  1. sounds like a great book! I look forward to reading it :)
    stampedwithgrace at cox dot net

  2. I am looking forward to reading it as well!
    This review just makes me want to go curl up with it now!

  3. I enjoyed your blog and subscribed. Like the other gals, I'd love to read Rose House sounds really good.
    Thanks for adding my name to your giveaway.



  4. I have just started reading Rose House last night, and would love to be included in your giveaway.


  5. DON'T pass this book up....Rose House is beautifully written....I would love to go to La Rosaleda and be there all spring and summer with myself and my books.

    I keep wondering about "Ruby House?" Would I know too much from this book to read it?

    Gayla Collins

  6. Gayla, You can read and enjoy "Ruby Among Us" without worrying that this book will spoil it. You'll know a tiny bit of "the rest of the story," but it won't hurt your enjoyment of the book.

  7. Want to read this book. Sign me up for the give away.

    Gail Mundy

  8. Sounds like a very in depth book, worthy of reading. I love it when books so absorb me that I am thinking of them afterwards! I subscribed to your blog to keep abreast of new novels. Add me in.

    desertrose at gmail dot com