I finished this historical fiction novel at the end of April. With a foundation in the business of silk, it was weaved as much as the discussed fabric was, pulling in all different directions, creating a masterpiece. A novel with a base of love, betrayal, and the restraints of being a woman. The bonds of friendship play out hard on every page; what they can do, and you are left with if they are missing.
Writing authentic historical fiction is a true skill, and I am always highly impressed on principle by any book that manages it. “Wild Rose” captured its time period perfectly, and I could feel my senses engage on multiple levels with each passage. It was as if I could become submerged within the story, weaved in as another thread, it was all so vivid. The amount of time and research that had gone into this book was obvious and impressive.
Another aspect to be highly admired was that it was obviously planned, beginning to end. Some books have a feel as if the author didn’t know what was going to happen next as much as we didn’t, but this was more “secure”. The foundations were firm, and there for the ending from the first chapter. When you are a book reviewer, you can’t help but almost take a cynical eye to decisions made in the storytelling, so when something makes sense, connected to earlier on, you find yourself nodding knowingly. And here in this book, everything was planned and pieced together with such patience and intricacies that it deserves massive praise.
There was a feel about the book as if things had turned full circle by the end, and this was so satisfying. The lives of every character had changed dramatically from where they had been at the beginning, with a beautiful balance of story development merged with the everyday mundane realities of life, and how changes happen to us all. The ripples from those changes flow outward, impacting those around us, and those around them. Sometimes that goes forgotten in a work of fiction, but here it was key to both character and story development.
The ending was neither overtly happy nor sad, but was satisfying, which personally I hold as far more important. If you are a fan of either historical fiction, or generally just a good book you can dig your teeth into, then this has my full recommendations.