Five Roses - Alice Zorn | ARC Review

Pages: 316 pages, Paperback
Publication date: July 23, 2016

Publisher: Dundurn Press 
How I got the copy: Received a copy from the publisher
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


A sister. A baby. A man who watches from the trees.

Fara and her husband buy a house with a disturbing history that reawakens memories of her own family tragedy. Maddy still lives in the house, once a hippie commune, where her daughter was kidnapped twenty-seven years ago. Rose grew up isolated with her mother in the backwoods north of Montreal. Now in the city, she questions the silence and deception that shaped her upbringing.

Fara, Maddy, and Rose meet in Montreal's historic Pointe St-Charles, a rundown neighbourhood on the cusp of gentrification. Against a backdrop of abandonment, loss, and revitalization, the women must confront troubling secrets in order to rebuild their lives. Zorn deftly interweaves the rich yet fragile lives of three very different people into a story of strength and friendship.

I requested Five Roses by Alice Zorn from Dundurn Press after reading the synopsis, a little while ago, and lets be honest because the cover also complements the synopsis very well. What intrigued me the most about Five Roses was the potential mystery element to the book but once I started reading the book I knew it wasn't the mystery I expected, instead a literary fiction. 

I don't think you understand how many times I think a book will be a certain type of way and it ends up being another... Which says more about me than the book, really. I think I need to research books a bit more before jumping to the conclusion that it'll be what I assume they'll be from one synopsis. Regardless, I enjoyed Five Roses. I found it a bit confusing at the beginning to identify who I was reading from with each new paragraph but after each character was introduced I wasn't as confused anymore. For example, when Ben was introduced to the storyline it didn't state anywhere. For a bit I thought I was reading from the perspective of his dead brother. 

In saying that, I was still a little bit confused throughout the entire book. For some reason I had a difficult time identifying which character was speaking and I kept confusing characters and their storylines, which made reading Five Roses a very slow process. Even though I was a bit confused and it took me a long time to get through Five Roses I still thought the story was interesting and I wanted to know what would happen.

I found it tough to get into Five Roses and it wasn't until 70 pages that I finally got hooked into the story, which is when I believe Maddy is introduced. Reading from Maddy's perspective was probably my favourite part of the book since it reveals the most, like how all the characters are connected.

Five Roses follow three different women that live in Montreal who are all battling different life struggles such as, abandonment, loss, suicide, loneliness, secrets, and etc. This book is heavily character driven, quite slow, but it's immersing, and written in third person.

Dundurn Press sent me a copy of Five Roses and included a map where the story takes place and a postcard with a cream puff recipe. 


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