Review:I didn’t really know what I was expecting when I began The Soul of the Rose. But it certainly was not what I got. This novel was intelligent even to the point of elegance at times. Usually, books like this written today are similar and influenced by their contemporaries. The Soul of the Rose was obviously influenced by great classics such as Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter as well as others such as Jane Eyre and even Blaise Pascal’s Pensees. Tennyson and Byron’s poetry was also mentioned all throughout the book. The author certainly was knowledgeable about the classics. Even the way the characters were written reminded me faintly of classic characters such as Hester Prynne, Edward Rochester etc. It was refreshing to me to find a book that reflected the classics instead of the books of today.
I thought that The Soul of the Rose had a rather slow start. Nothing grabbed my attention until about halfway through the book. I almost started another book instead of reading this one because of the lack of attention grabbers. But I really began to enjoy it once the caliber of the two main characters—Celia and Edward—became clear to me. They were both well-developed characters. However, perhaps too much attention was focused on them since some of the other characters were neglected at times. I would have enjoyed getting to know Celia’s family more so. Her mother and father were the only characters that were really introduced. She had other siblings but it was never really clear how many she had that I can remember. At times, I felt that the author herself wasn’t sure of how many brothers Celia had or even what their names were.
The romance between Celia and Edward was endearing and at times even a little desperate since it seemed as if they might end up forced apart. I really enjoyed that aspect of the novel. The hint of mystery the author added to Edward Lyons was just enough to hold my interest once it became a clear part of the plot.
All in all The Soul of the Rose was an interesting and satisfying read, though it took a while for me to really get into it. I give it 31/2 out of 5 stars.
Note: Isn't the cover unique? I think one of the reasons I read it was because it stuck out to me so much.