Friday, December 18, 2009

Roses-Leila Meacham

Leila Meacham
Grand Central, Jan 6 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780446559980

In the middle of the seventh century the Toliver and Warwick clans crossed the Atlantic to reside in the Carolina Colony. Rivals back in England during the War of the Roses, they remain competitors through the century plus as South Carolina become a state. In 1836, members of each family went to Texas to join in the revolution against Mexico. The family feud started centuries ago in England before relocating to South Carolina and continues in the twentieth century in Howbutker, Texas.

As her family anxiously waits for her to die, elderly Mary Toliver reflects back at her life starting with her regret when she gave up her love Percy Warwick for her family estate Somerset; unlike her brother who met his beloved in France during WWI and returned to her. She knows she can blame Percy for refusing to help her save Somerset like Ollie DuMont did, whom she married. However, as an octogenarian near death she knows who is at fault. She vows to sell Somerset to liberate her grandniece into not making her mistake.

This saga follows seven decades of two families whose feud goes back centuries and across the ocean. The viewpoints rotate between Mary, Percy and Rachel so that the audience compare how each interprets the same situation differently, especially the octogenarian pair. Rachel provides a fascinating look at her roots when she learns secrets that everyone wanted to hide. Fans of historical family sagas will enjoy this entertaining epic, which at times are soap opera and other moments profound.

Harriet Klausner

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