Rose Cottage

Rose Cottage

4.0 2
by Mary Stewart
     
 

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Rose Cottage, a tiny thatched dwelling in an idyllic English country setting, would appear the picture of tranquility to any passerby. But when Kate Herrick returns to her childhood home to retrieve some family papers in the summer of 1947, she uncovers a web of intrigue as tangled as the rambling roses in its garden. The papers are missing. The village is alive

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Overview

Rose Cottage, a tiny thatched dwelling in an idyllic English country setting, would appear the picture of tranquility to any passerby. But when Kate Herrick returns to her childhood home to retrieve some family papers in the summer of 1947, she uncovers a web of intrigue as tangled as the rambling roses in its garden. The papers are missing. The village is alive with gossip. Did her elderly neighbors, suspected of being witches, really see nighttime prowlers and ghosts in the cottage garden?

            Kate's search for the truth brings her together with many childhood friends and neighbors, some suspicious of her return, but most eager to help. It also leads her down a trail of family bitterness, jealousy, and revenge—and into an exploration of her own past. She ends up discovering a long-hidden secret that will change her life dramatically—along with romance in a place she least expects.

            First published in 1997 and a major bestseller, Rose Cottage is, to date, the last and most mature novel from one of Britain's greatest writers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A rare treat . . . charming . . . delightful. . . . There is just enough suspense to keep you turning the pages well into the night." —Denver Post

"For the frazzled Anglophile, the countryside-enamored reader, here's a bit of romance, light mystery, and the reassuring stability of a timeless English village—in short, another Stewart comforter. . . . Soothing as a warm brew on a cold night are Stewart's satisfying denouements—and environs." —Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In an old-fashioned romantic tale, veteran novelist Stewart (My Brother Michael, etc.) paints a nostalgic portrait of a dying way of life in rural post-WWII Britain. Young Kate Herrick, a newly wealthy war widow, is sent by her grandmother to retrieve some furniture and family heirlooms from Todhall, where the older woman was cook to the titled Brandon family. Kate, or Kathy (as everyone in Todhall village calls her), was born out of wedlock and raised by her grandmother after her mother "ran away with the gypsies." Kathy never knew who her father wasit may have been a gypsy or even Sir Brandon. The mystery may be untangled by papers left in the safe her grandmother has instructed her to empty; when Kathy manages to crack the safe, however, with the aid of good-looking young carpenter Davey Pascoe, it's empty. Then the local mystic claims to have seen Kathy's mother and a gypsy in the cemetery standing over her grandfather's grave. The harassing question of Kathy's parentage, the plundered safe, her class status (Kathy Welland or Kate Herrick? London widow or Todhall cottager?) and her perhaps forever-broken heart, are all resolved in one long night of tea and buttered toast, during which half the village seems to crowd into the tiny cottage kitchen. Stewart writes a bit like the old milk pony, Rosy, who knows her route by heart. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
For the frazzled Anglophile, the countryside-enamored reader, here's a bit of romance, light mystery, and the reassuring stability of a timeless English village—in short, another Stewart comforter (The Stormy Petrel, 1991, etc.).

Here, a young widow returns in 1947 to her childhood home and the enigma of her parentage. Kate Herrick, née Welland, who lost her husband in the war, is summoned to Scotland by her beloved grandmother, formerly a cook in the household of Sir James Brandon. She asks Kate to return to their native village in the north of England, where Kate was raised by Gran and severe Aunt Betsy. Kate's mother Lilias, who'd become pregnant while serving at the Brandons' estate, had left Kate at six, never to return. Gran had told Kate that she had "gone with the gipsies," but some years later Kate learned that her mother and new husband had been killed in Ireland in a bus accident. Now, Kate is to come again to Gran's Rose Cottage, long shuttered, charged with shipping some of Gran's belongings to her in Scotland and with locating a neatly hidden safe containing family items of sentimental value. But someone has broken into the cottage, ripped out the safe, and removed its contents. Then there are strange rumors of odd appearances, generated mainly by the "Witches Corner"—comprised of two gossipy ladies, as well as a feathery individual who's sure she has "the sight" and has seen a dead woman digging in the cottage yard and piling flowers on the grave of mean Aunt Betsy. With the help of young Davey, son of old family friends, and scraps of information from neighbors, Kate will at last discover an absent mother and a name for an unknown father.

Soothing as a warm brew on a cold night are Stewart's satisfying denouements—and environs: ". . . willows and wild roses, cuckoo-pint and king cups, and a wood pigeon crooning in the elm." Mild doings in enchanting surroundings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569768068
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Series:
Rediscovered Classics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
250,976
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Mary Stewart has published 20 novels, including the Merlin trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment), Nine Coaches Waiting, The Ivy Tree, Thornyhold, The Moon-Spinners, and My Brother Michael.

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Rose Cottage 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
misskitty52 More than 1 year ago
I read this many years ago & dearly loved it. Sad to see that her classics aren't on nook, though. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely nostalgia piece. Having grown up with Mary Stewart, I was delighted to see this title that was new to me. For all of you who love the community feel of small villages, this story will warm your heart!