Deborah D. (Newark, CA)
A Good Summer Read
In Search of the Rose Notes is reminiscent of other psychological mysteries (think Carol Goodman). The enjoyment comes through the intermingling of good characters with the tragedy they are all coming to grips with. Nora returns home to discover her small town isn't nearly as smothering and awful as she once believed. At the same time, she must address old childhood and high school relationships while trying to find the answers to a mysterious murder. Good character development and an interesting twist make this book a worthwhile summer read.
Cathleen K. (Poughkeepsie, NY)
In Search of the Rose Notes, by Emily Arsenault
In reading this book, I felt I was reading a Nancy Drew for grownups. It involves the lives of two young girls and the mysterious death of their babysitter. As they progress from pre-teen to older teen to young women, their lives change, profoundly influenced by their traumatic experience and by their early interest in the occult. It isn’t until they reunite much later that many questions are answered. We learn of the changes, both inward and outward, through the narrator, Nora.
The book was a fast read, interesting, and hard to put down. I would recommend it especially for teens and young adults, though people of all ages might find it enjoyable.
Cheryl K. (East Aurora, NY)
Determining the mystery
This book might be appealing to young adult readers, provided they could follow the alternating story from 1990 to 2006. The major characters were rather boring and I cannot understand why the book is considered a psychological mystery. In fact, I had difficulty determining exactly what the ultimate "mystery" was. I would definitely not recommend In Search of the Rose Notes to an adult book club.
Peggy K. (Long Beach, CA)
This isn't a bad book but for me it wasn't above average. It was very slow moving in plot and not quite the mystery I had expected. Still I found the discussions of childhood by the main characters to be of some interest. I believe a book club would really be able to to get into this because we all have those memories and the changes adulthood brought. I think that young adults say from 20's up would find this book of interest simply because it does seem to generate thoughts of the past or at least it did in my case. You have friends you grew up with but lost touch with. The Rose of the title is the center point of it all.
I suppose I expected more of a mystery but in truth this is a story about growing up and how we change or in some cases don't change so much and the secrets we keep. I would have preferred a faster pace but I think this book was written to be the way it is in order to make readers look at their own past and school days.
not worth your time
I found nothing appealing about this book. The plot development was very slow, the mystery was tepid at best, the characters were not interesting, the writing was lusterless. Touted as a "psychological mystery", it simply portrayed the characters' psyches as self-absorbed and lacking in insight, both as children and as adults.
Melissa H. (McKees Rocks, PA)
Not edge of your seat suspense
Rose Notes wasn't quite the psychological thriller that I was expecting. I enjoyed the back and forth of the present and past, and being a child of the 80s I enjoyed the references to that era. I also enjoyed the psychology of the person you are as a child versus the person you are as an adult. The book got me thinking about old high school friends whom I've lost touch with and if it's possible to ever reclaim that friendship. But the suspense wasn't quite there in the book. There were red herrings which weren't all that convincing and while I didn't figure out the "who done it" I wasn't left gasping at each chapter or on the edge of my seat. The book does provide a "what would you do" kind of atmosphere, but because it comes at the end, I don't know how much time a reader would spend thinking about it.
Mary M. (Lexington, KY)
I liked half of this book and really disliked the other half. The book went back and forth between 1990 and 2006. As the book went on I found myself dreading the 1990 story. It was a good mystery, but I think the 1990 story could have been told in the first two or three chapters. The characters were much more interesting as adults. Maybe I missed something but frankly I rushed through the flashbacks to get to the parts that took place in the present.