Book Review | In Search of the Rose Notes

Title: In Search of the Rose Notes: A Novel

Author: Emily Arsenault

My Review:

In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault, is perhaps one of the most well written books I’ve read this year. The book is about a young woman, named Nora, who receives a startling phone call from her childhood best friend, Charlotte, informing her that the body of their old babysitter, Rose, was found. The news of the discovery, results in Nora returning to Waverly, Connecticut, a place which she never wished to return to. For Nora had buried the memories of Waverly long ago. Eleven year old Nora was the last person to see Rose alive. Everyone had always assumed that she knew what happened, especially since she became withdrawn, shortly after Rose’s disappearance. But Nora had always maintained that she knew nothing.

Arsenault does an extraordinary job of taking us into the complicated mind of Nora as she pieces together what truly happened to Rose sixteen years ago. The novel takes place in the present tense as well as the past. In the present she must come face to face with who and what she left behind, from her mother to old friends, as well as the heartache of being the last person to see Rose alive. In Nora’s flashbacks the reader is treated to the life which Nora lived as an 11 year old with a bratty best friend, and a troubled 16 year old babysitter. They spent many hours delving into the world of the perceived impossible, reading book after book of paranormal happenings. Her flashbacks struck a chord with me, because those sequences reminded me a bit of my childhood and the way that I used to attempt to investigate any little thing, just for the thrill of it. Nora was a shy child, but enjoyed spending time with Charlotte and Rose. It was her get away from home life. Those good times quickly end however, upon the disappearance of Rose and when Charlotte wants to investigate, Nora is reluctant, because deep inside she knows that they won’t like the answers which they seek. Now sixteen years after the fact, Nora is ready to handle the truth and the writings of Rose just might hold the key to what really happened to her.

In Search of the Rose Notes was my first mystery read since childhood, and I enjoyed every page. Arsenault has crafted an intriguing psychological journey which builds on the readers emotions. I felt a connection with Rose and the surrounding characters, which is a difficult task for a writer to pull off, but Arsenault did a magnificent job. If you are a fan of mystery or just great story telling, please read In Search of the Rose Notes.

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*


Kellie is a Mass Communications student and lives in a small Illinois town. She is an avid reader, who enjoys writing, shopping, exercise and a little political spin every now and then.

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