Emily Arsenault: In Search of the Rose Notes
I think I got this book because I saw some of my book-loving friends on Good Reads reading it. When I started reading it, I thought, “Hmmm, big print, short chapters and the main character is a pre-teen, hmmm, this has the feel of a teen-book,” but by then it was too late, I was already hooked, so I read the whole book and I am glad I did.
So the writing is not all that complex. I actually like teen books because teens and twenties deal so much with making moral choices. They are at that wonderful age when they think about things and decides what matters to them. There are many of those I would rather hang around than people my own age who want to talk about shopping or shoes or aches and pains.
Nora hangs out a lot with Charlotte, her best friend, while her single mother works full time. Charlotte is bossy, but never boring, as they explore the pre-teen world together. They have a babysitter, Rose, who watches over them and keeps them out of trouble. Until one day Rose disappears.
The book switches back and forth from these pre-teen experiences to a later time, maybe 15 years later, when Rose’s body is unearthed, and once again Nora experiences a lot of feelings she had buried. I loved the depiction of high school, where so many kids are suicidal, and life is cruel. High school just isn’t a kind place, even for those who look like they are having a great time.
At the same time, there were some good relationships, and you get to look back with Nora at people who were kind, but you were too absorbed in your own feelings to notice. It’s a complex world, and we get to go back and explore it once again through Nora’s eyes.
I’m glad I read it. This book did not change my life, but it is a great book for people who either are younger, or who like younger people, as I do.
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