Eva is devastated when her beloved older sister, Katrina, dies. Since she’s only lived and worked in Los Angeles to be near her movie-star sister, she decides it’s time now to leave the city. She doesn’t have a plan for the future, so she just starts with going to England to scatter Katrina’s ashes in Cornwall, where they spent their summers growing up.
Eva stays with the Hallett family, at their estate, Trelowarth House, surrounded by rose gardens, as she always did when she was young. Siblings Mark and Susan, as well as their longtime stepmother, welcome her and try to be of comfort. As she helps Mark and Susan with marketing for the flower business Mark runs and the tea shop that Susan wants to start, she starts to consider staying in the town nearby for a while.
Strange things start happening, and she finds herself at times inexplicably in the past. She’s still at Trelowarth House, but just a few hundred years earlier, and she meets the handsome smuggler who resides there. As she increasingly spends more time in the 1700s, she starts falling for Daniel. But how could she possibly have a future in the past?
The Rose Garden is a perfectly lovely novel that should satisfy fans of Susanna Kearsley. Having read a few of her other books now, I can’t say this is my favorite, but it’s a charming and pleasant read when one wants to get away to another place — and time. Love, a romantic English setting, a little history, and clean reading to boot. The premise strains credulity a bit, but it still all comes together so nicely it’s easy to let that slide.
Rated: Mild, for just a few occasions of mild language and a mostly “offscreen” sex scene, as well as a few spots of mild violence.