Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: In Search of the Rose Notes

In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault

About the Book:

"Eleven-year-olds Nora and Charlotte were best friends. When their teenage babysitter, Rose, disappeared under mysterious circumstances, the girls decided to “investigate.” But their search—aided by paranormal theories and techniques gleaned from old Time-Life books—went nowhere.

Years later, Nora, now in her late twenties, is drawn back to her old neighborhood—and to her estranged friend—when Rose’s remains are finally discovered. Upset over their earlier failure to solve the possible murder, Charlotte is adamant that they join forces and try again. But Nora was the last known person to see Rose alive, and she’s not ready to revisit her troubled adolescence and the events surrounding the disappearance—or face the disturbing secrets that are already beginning to reemerge.


As little girls, my best friend and I shared so many secrets and talked about all sorts of things that others would definitely have thought odd. Anyone else ever tried levitation or astral projection at the ripe old age of 11? How about plotting your own trip around the world? Much like the main characters in Emily Arsenault's In Search of the Rose Notes we drifted apart in our teens and reconnected in our mid twenties. However, we were not brought back together by the murder of our babysitter. For the record, we still haven't been able to levitate nor travel the world. ;-)

Complex and emotional, In Search of the Rose Notes chronicles the relationship of Nora and Charlotte and the disappearance and death of their babysitter, Rose. Switching seamlessly between the present and the 1990's, Emily Arsenault is able to conjure up all of the awkwardness of growing up, making me squirm uncomfortably more than a few times. The story is told from the point of view of Nora, who fled her small hometown and all of the people and memories of her youth as soon as high school was over. Living comfortably apart from the life she used to live, she is finally forced to go back home and face some startling revelations about herself and the people she once knew when Charlotte calls out of the blue with news about Rose's disappearance.

In Search of the Rose Notes is a mystery, but does not read like any mystery I've picked up before. The style is unique and it doesn't try to make you guess about its ending. Instead, it unravels the tapestry of these women's relationships with each other and Rose, taking you along a memory laden path that leads to its very satisfying conclusion. It evoked so many nostalgic memories of my own childhood in the 1990's from the black Time Life Book series Mysteries of the Unknown which were referenced throughout to the loneliness of being the odd duck out, that I had a hard time putting it down, awkward memories be damned.

To read more about 'In Search of the Rose Notes', visit Emily Arsenault's website here or click the image above to see what other TLC Book Tour Hosts thought of it. Thank you to Trish at TLC and the publisher for the review copy of this novel.


  1. This looks really interesting, think I will have to read it. Thanks!

  2. Now this sounds like a really great read. A different sort of plot is always a draw for me. Thanks for the review and the recommendation.

  3. That sounds like a great book. I have looked, but couldn't find it in our library. It might take a while, but I will write the book down, so I can't forget.
    English books always take a while to get into the library here in The Netherlands. I'm waiting for the newest Sarah Addison Allen too at the moment ; )
    Have a magical day.

  4. This book sounds like something I would definitely read. Thank you for the share :)

  5. I think I'd really enjoy this one too! Thanks for being a part of the tour.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.