Remembrance of Blue Roses follows a man and a married couple in New York City, whose intricate relationship oscillates among friendship, love, love-triangle, and even obsession. Its romantic ambience is interwoven with classical music, opera, art, family legend, and international affairs, illuminating the lives of international civil servants at the United Nations and the UN peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, and those with direct experience of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust.
Mark, the narrator and an American, works for the United Nations in New York as a personnel officer; his friend, Hans, German, also works for the UN as an economist; and Yukari, Japanese and Hans’s wife, is a professional violinist. One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond.
The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as expectant mother. Mark, Hans, and Yukari celebrate New Year’s Eve at the height of their friendship and happiness. … Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
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A beautiful story of complex human relationship in love and friendship. The international nature of the story further makes the novel more compelling. The elegiac tone of the skillful prose narrative often brought tears in my eyes. The last chapter is so moving, symbolizing redemption, hope, and love. One of best literary fiction I have ever read in recent years.
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite A love triangle can make life very complicated. Mark never anticipates getting caught in such a net, so when he meets an old friend, Hans, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while Mark is working on his own art, he is surprised by his instantaneous attraction to Hans' Japanese wife, Yukari. There is a connection between creative minds and these three people are definitely creative: Mark, in his spare time, is an artist and a pretty good one at that; Hans is a tenor and not too bad; and Yukari is a talented concert violinist with a prestigious orchestra. The reconnection with his old friend allows Mark to be near Yukari, who, surprisingly to Mark, shares the attraction. But Yukari remains faithful to her husband and Mark respects his friendship, so he just admires from a distance and paints or draws his passion. Mark's been hurt before and he certainly doesn't want to be the cause of someone else's hurt. He's a divorcee, his previous wife leaving him for one of Mark's friends. So Mark clearly relates to the tricky issue of love triangles. And, when one link in the triangle breaks, it appears that the other links will break as well. The blue roses are significant. Hans and Mark make a big deal of planting the blue roses in the UN gardens to complement the UN colors. The roses bloom and become not only a bond, but a remembrance of a triangle of love and friendship. Remembrance of Blue Roses by Yorker Keith is a good story. It does move slowly in the middle, but then it picks up again towards the end. The information provided about the United Nations is interesting, but a little overdone for a novel. However, overall, this is an interesting story about a love triangle and the blue roses that both awe and inspire as well as somehow keep the three people connected. A worthwhile read.
Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite In an intricately written, well told short novel released by debut novelist Yorker Keith, Remembrance of Blue Roses is a story that will stay with readers long after they have read the last page. Follow the story of the complex relationship of Mark, Hans and Yukari, a group that has varying involvements from friendship, love, a love triangle, and even obsession. Inspired by the light blue of a dress that Yukari wears one day, Mark and Hans plant blue roses in her honor, and these serve as a reminder of their unique relationship. Many complications and relationships with others, including an ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, and an important friend enter in and out of the lives of the three, but the blue roses can always serve to remind them of what they shared. I very much enjoyed Remembrance of Blue Roses. Author Yorker Keith has done a wonderful job in crafting a story line that will draw readers in from the very first page and will keep them reading until the very last page. His characters, especially the three that are the main focus of the story, are vividly drawn and seem to leap off the pages. Readers will have no problems in connecting with them, relating to them, and will continue to think of them long after the book is done. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. Any reader who enjoys a great work of fiction that's concisely drawn and tells a full story within a relatively short number of pages should absolutely read this book. I am pleased to recommend Remembrance of Blue Roses, and look forward to reading more from the very promising author, Yorker Keith, in the future.
Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite In a unique and well-written recounting of a complicated relationship between a married couple and an individual male friend, The Remembrance of Blue Roses by author Yorker Keith is a book I'm glad I read. Main characters Mark, Hans and Yukari meet and become fast friends, but their relationship morphs into much more than that. In turns becoming lovers and objects of obsession, the three navigate their complicated relationships the best they can. Mark's good friend, ex wife and ex girlfriend alternatively enter the sphere of the relationship, adding more depth and intrigue. A shared memory of the three, the sentimental planting of blue roses that Mark and Hans completed in Yukari's honor, is one that can return them all to the positive times of their relationship, as well as acting as a reminder of their interesting familial bonds. The Remembrance of Blue Roses is a stellar read by a new novelist. I was engaged from the very beginning and read obsessively to the end. The complicated relationships shared by the main characters were not only intriguing, but were interesting enough for me to hope that there will somehow be more about them from this author. Readers who enjoy a sophisticated and well-written book about the complexity of human relationships will definitely enjoy The Remembrance of Blue Roses. I am very pleased to recommend this book most highly. I certainly hope that author Yorker Keith is hard at work on his next novel as we speak. I, for one, would be in line to read it once it's available!