Summer of Roses

by Luanne Rice

SUMMER OF ROSES picks up the story of the characters from SUMMER'S
CHILD, beginning with a flashback of Mara's wedding in her
grandmother's gorgeous garden. But the bride can't help noticing
that the iron name of the cottage is corroding, foreshadowing decay
in her marriage. As Mara approaches Edward, her groom, she glimpses
fear in his eyes.

Nine years later, Mara must return to her grandmother's Connecticut
house. Her grandmother, Maeve, is in a coma. Mara's name is now
Lily, and she's been hiding in Nova Scotia having fled her
emotionally abusive husband. Lily is home with her daughter Rose
and her lover Liam. Rose is Edward's daughter, although he isn't
aware of her existence. Lily must not let Edward know he has a
child, and so Liam spirits away the little girl to keep her

Meanwhile, Lily's friends back in Nova Scotia keep her needlework
shop open. Marisa, a good friend of Lily's, shares Lily's own dark
secret: Marisa was married to Edward after Lily disappeared. Like
Lily, she fled his abuse and changed her identity. Marisa yearns
for her sister to come home and play music with her, but her sister
is in Peru and has long since quit having a relationship with

In Connecticut, Lily learns that Maeve has carbon monoxide
poisoning. She believes Edward tried to murder her grandmother,
hoping to bring Lily home. Edward finds Rose in spite of Liam and
Lily's attempt to hide her. When Edward and Lily meet, he threatens
her, saying she has no idea what will happen next. His threats are
especially terrifying since Rose has suspected him of being a
serial killer.

Along with the story lines, the reader learns a bit about Irish
music and about oceanography. A beluga whale known as Nanny adds a
warm, mysterious note as she seemingly is emotionally attached to
Rose, and follows her from Nova Scotia to Connecticut.

This book is packed full of multiple threads of stories, which I
found a bit distracting. I recommend reading the previous book,
SUMMER'S CHILD, to better understand the history of the characters
--- which should be a great pleasure, since author Luanne Rice is
an excellent storyteller. The warmhearted SUMMER OF ROSES
celebrates family and friendships, and has a tidy, satisfying

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon ( on January 23, 2011

Summer of Roses
by Luanne Rice

  • Publication Date: June 21, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0553804103
  • ISBN-13: 9780553804102