Sunday, September 18, 2011

Book 50 (2011): In Search of the Rose Notes

I liked this book. Something about it just drew me to it and I enjoyed reading it all the way to the end to see what the twist was going to be. I love a good twist!

Nora and Charlotte are friends as young 11 year old girls when the babysitter they both idolize, Rose, goes missing and is never found. Charlotte is strong and assertive and wants to see if they can find her, using their Time Life Mystery Books as a guide. Nora, quiet and introverted, wants nothing of the sort, and shortly after the disappearance of Rose, the friendship ends and is never rekindled. Nora graduates from high school and leaves town, vowing to never look back since she will forever be known as "the last person to see Rose".

Now years later, Nora returns to her home town, drawn by the news that Rose's remains have been found. Nora comes back and is again drawn into memories of that time before and after Rose went missing, and she does a bit of investigating on her own, since no killer was found-- just her remains.

While back in her small town, she and Charlotte re-kindle their friendship, as it were, working through old demons as well as new ones. And many misconceptions from the past also surface, between them and between others childhood friends.

I did like In Search of Rose Notes, especially the pacing. There were two things that left me questioning the plausibility of the story. The first was that Nora, having not spoken to Charlotte since one brief conversation in high school, so basically since they were 11 years old, that she would go back to stay with her, in Charlotte's home, for weeks on end. That left me troubled- the too casual quickness of the friendship coming back together, especially since both women were uneasy with each other, and Charlotte was quick combative, strange and angry. The second was just... sort of uncomfortable. There was a distinct pre-occupation with sex when the girl's were 11 years old, and Nora was always uncomfortable just sort of turned on, but she didn't know that's why she felt tingly or giddy or whatever adjective. The sex was subtle and often just talk but Nora's shy thoughts still seemed to make her feel good and she chastised herself for feeling good. It was just strange.

Other than that, which I could overlook, I did enjoy this psychological thriller and will certainly be hunting for more books by Emily Arsenault. (384 pages)