Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“I liked this book, although it did start out as a little slow for me, but once it got going I could not put it down. Very gripping.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“This may well be a favorite read for those who enjoy the chick lit/romance novel genres more than I. It is a generational saga of three East Texas families beginning in the late 19th century through 1985. My forebears came from East Texas and I was expecting more descriptive atmosphere and...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I didn't care for it; didn't finish it. Maybe another day.”LadyKat55 wrote this review Friday, August 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I had put off reading this book for a long time, despite all the glowing reviews I had seen from friends and the personal recommendations made to me. This was purely because of the length of the book – which is over 600 pages – and it sat on my shelf for probably a good year or so. When I found that my library had it on audio book, I decided that was the way to go and set off on this grand adventure. Let me tell you now – I loved every minute of it – even when I had tears in my eyes!
This is one of those multi-generational family saga novels – so there are a bunch of characters and a lot of time to cover. This novel runs from the very early days of the 1900’s – I want to say 1907? – up through the 1980’s. A lot happens during that time, both externally and internally within the family. While the story focuses primarily on what happens to these families – Warwicks, Tolivers, and DuMonts – we also see the bigger picture movements of the USA in terms of how it affects the families (Prohibition, WWI, WWI, Korean War etc). I can comfortably say that A LOT happens in these pages – and there are so many twists and turns!
This was an emotional read for me in so many ways. I am not typically an emotional reader, but you almost cannot avoid it in this book – something will hit you. There were times I was brought to tears (several in fact), times when I was so mad at what one of the character’s did, and other times (less so) where I was very happy. Because of the emotionality of this book, I put it down several times. Mary and Percy’s relationship really got to me. When there was something good that happened to them, I would put the book down for a day or two in order to savor the happy times, because I knew something would happen to them to tear it down (I mean, the back cover blurb tells right off that they don’t end up married). When something tragic happened (and a lot was tragic), I would again put the book down because it was just too much. It took me over a month to listen to 18 hours of this book because of all the times I put it down.
The characters were so well written and each was very distinct and different. I was in love with Percy Warwick throughout the entire novel. Even though he made mistakes like the rest of the cast (and like everyone else in life) he was a very good man – and handsome to boot! Mary at times frustrated me – often – but I can understand the desire to remain connected to your familial roots when they run as deep as the Tolivers.
Most of the first half of the novel is told through flashbacks primarily through the eyes of Mary and Percy, but you occasionally get treated to another viewpoint. The latter half of the book focuses on how the decisions made in the past (seen through the flashbacks) will affect the later generations – particularly Mary’s grand-niece, Rachel, and Percy’s grandson, Matthew. It was so atmospheric and there was some great dialogue. I also loved how the use of roses was tied through the story and was important to the history of these families. While the use of the roses might appear a little ridiculous, I thought that it was cool and would love it if my family used roses this way – although I would then have to stop liking pink roses!
The cover is GORGEOUS (as are the other covers of her books).
The audio production was fantastic. The narrator had a great southern style manner of speaking and it really helped placing you square in the middle of plantation life. She brought the characters to life and gave each a distinct voice.”
“Review: Roses by Leila Meacham.
The book was entertaining, powerfully driven, well written, and filled with love, sacrifice and a struggling saga through three uncomplicated generations of characters which unfolds periodically throughout the story with ease. Its context is utterly justified and created to flow without pause to the very end.
Some comment that its format is similar to Gone With The Wind and I would probably agree but no story can ever fill the pages of “Gone with The Wind”. However, the story is very satisfying in plot, depth, emotion, power and animosity through generations to keep you reading.
The setting is in a small town in east Texas where three families of enormous wealth and power live. First is the Tolivers who are cotton tycoons, then there is the Warwicks who are lumber barons and the last family is the DuMonts who are retail industrialist. The mutual respect formed between these families set up a social structure that will have long lasting ramifications throughout the generations for all their descendants.
Mary Toliver, a heroine the reader follows for eighty plus years is a stubborn upsetting single minded great character and summarizes the strong-willed matriarch necessary to create the stability that keeps these families together or should I say apart. Her male adversary is Percy Warwick, a perfect scapegoat and the love of Mary’s life. They are made for each other but however, they can never truly realize happiness in each other’s arms. Their love for each other is played out through decades with overpowering intensity and great tragedy.
Fast paced and intriguing the story stayed invested in Mary and Percy’s story and all the subplots throughout the generations. Aviating through the years, the unattainable romance stays center stage even as they both go their separate ways.
There were many unexpected twist and turns and creative characters in the plot to keep my interest turning page after page to see what would happen next. The story was told over many pages but so wasn’t “Gone With The Wind”……
“Loving this book!”Patti G wrote this review Thursday, May 16, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A light and easy read. A little overly dramatic, but great get-away for the mind. I liked the perspective of how desire for keeping land in the family can cause the ruination of the very thing you desire. ”Genevieve Rosales DG wrote this review Monday, April 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Enjoyable family saga.”Nancy M wrote this review Monday, March 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked the 2 story's going at the same time. Made for good read. I also liked both story's that were playing along side the other. loved Percy Warwick he was the reason I read the book twice.”Bonnie R wrote this review Sunday, February 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fantastic book that I couldn't put down!”Lynn M wrote this review Thursday, January 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No