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In Search of the Rose Notes | [Emily Arsenault]

In Search of the Rose Notes

Eleven-year-olds Nora and Charlotte were best friends. When their teenage babysitter, Rose, disappeared under mysterious circumstances, the girls decided to investigate. But their search - aided by paranormal theories and techniques gleaned from old Time-Life books - went nowhere. Years later, Nora, now in her late 20s, is drawn back to her old neighborhood - and to her estranged friend - when Rose's remains are finally discovered.
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Audible Editor Reviews

It's not uncommon for childhood friends, no matter how close they once were, to eventually grow up and grow apart. But for Nora and Charlotte, the sudden disappearance of their beloved babysitter Rose prevented them from ever cutting ties completely. Years later, Rose's body has been found, and Nora is en route to visit Charlotte in their hometown of Waverly, Connecticut, to try to put the pieces together once again. Being the last person to see Rose before her disappearance, Nora feels the weight of the tragedy and finds herself questioning every member of the community, even those she always believed she could trust. Khristine Hvam narrates Emily Arsenault's In Search of the Rose Notes, giving voice to a myriad of characters, all of whom could be suspected of killing Rose.

While Arsenault lays the groundwork for an investigative, gripping murder mystery set in an idyllic Connecticut suburb, Hvam gives a chameleon-like performance of multiple characters of varying ages and backgrounds. Arsenault's novel jumps back and forth through time from 1991, just before Rose's disappearance, to 2006, when Nora and Charlotte must confront the tragedy once again. Hvram's ability to translate the deep, soothing voice of adult Nora into a vibrant childlike tone of the 11-year-old Nora is particularly enjoyable. As they begin to unearth dark details surrounding the event, Hvam's tone becomes increasingly investigative, discerning, and severe. Her versatile characterizations elevate the novel in a positively alarming way.

In Search of the Rose Notes wraps you into its addictive "whodunit" narrative quickly and deliberately, with Hvam as a valuable guide. Arsenault's tightly wound crime novel is a triumph in its own right, but Hvam's delivery will make the experience all the more pulse-pounding. —Suzanne Day

Publisher's Summary

Eleven-year-olds Nora and Charlotte were best friends. When their teenage babysitter, Rose, disappeared under mysterious circumstances, the girls decided to investigate. But their search - aided by paranormal theories and techniques gleaned from old Time-Life books - went nowhere. Years later, Nora, now in her late 20s, is drawn back to her old neighborhood - and to her estranged friend - when Rose's remains are finally discovered.

Upset over their earlier failure to solve the possible murder, Charlotte is adamant that they join forces and try again. But Nora was the last known person to see Rose alive, and she's not ready to revisit her troubled adolescence and the events surrounding the disappearance - or face the disturbing secrets that are already beginning to re-emerge.

©2011 Emily Arsenault (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Dark and full of unexpected twists that will leave the reader guessing.... custom made for any mystery lover's keeper shelf.” (RT Book Reviews - Seal of Excellence)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (65 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.2 (46 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (5)
Story
3.7 (49 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    Barbara Belleville, IL, United States 04-24-12
    Barbara Belleville, IL, United States 04-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    221
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Held my interest"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the read, it held my interest throughout. It combines explores highschool anxst and an interesting murder mystery.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Emily Arsenault? Why or why not?

    I would, but I'm not not knocking down the door for them either.


    Did Khristine Hvam do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Had no problem differentiating characters but not the best narrator I've heard.


    Was In Search of the Rose Notes worth the listening time?

    If I don't enjoy a book, I don't finish it. Life is too short, so I did enjoy it.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-10-11
    09-10-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    103
    ratings
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    376
    37
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    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
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    Story
    "Weak characters, weak story and aimed at teens"

    I have never before heard a story that trivialized murder and brought it down to the level of a "chick flick". Holes in the plot, situations were contrived and followed by endless hours of children being baby-sat using childish patter while they made drawings and notations which were decidedly boring. When the author switched from adult to teenager, there seemed to be no difference in the tone or dialogue! In fact it was so boring that I put my head back on the pillow on the couch to keep listening and promptly fell asleep for over half an hour!! What more can I say?

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JAMES Alexandria, VA, United States 10-23-13
    JAMES Alexandria, VA, United States 10-23-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written images but a tedious story"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The frequent jumps from present time to the past were substantially overdone. All the talk among the grade school friends, while initially cute and clever, became quite tedious. There are probably not that many mature people who are forever trapped in their school day memories and experiences and still suffering from high school angst.


    What could Emily Arsenault have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    What often makes a mystery interesting is the challenge of trying to solve it. In this case, crucial details are left until the very end. Yes, it was a surprise but very little of the story came close to hinting at the ending. The whole book could have been greatly abbreviated.


    Any additional comments?

    All the discussion among the childhood friends about strange phenomenon (aliens, magic, ghosts, etc.) may have been an attempt to add more mystery to the story about Rose but had little to do with her after all. The ending was quite anti-climatic

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances Nobby beach, Australia 04-21-12
    Frances Nobby beach, Australia 04-21-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    16
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good lite listen"
    Would you try another book from Emily Arsenault and/or Khristine Hvam?

    Definitely


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Slightly predictable from the half way mark


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probable


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to it in one day, so I guess I thought it was pretty good. A disappearance/death, childhood friends, and the subject of memory. The book has that particular easy American unselfconsciousness that I associate with something that borders "chick lit" --not meant as a slur. I like chick lit because of its easiness. Because it doesn't hurt me in any way, the way that incisive literary social commentary does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer FORT WORTH, TX, United States 04-20-12
    Jennifer FORT WORTH, TX, United States 04-20-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    336
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "save the credit"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    by the end of this book all I could say was "seriously" story was a major let down.


    Has In Search of the Rose Notes turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara Johannesburg, South Africa 02-28-12
    Tamara Johannesburg, South Africa 02-28-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Who Cares ?"
    Would you try another book from Emily Arsenault and/or Khristine Hvam?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Emily Arsenault again?

    No


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Khristine Hvam?

    Yes


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disapointment


    Any additional comments?

    really a very drawn out story which could have been half the length.Characters were not particularly credible or likeable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madonna United States 08-18-11
    Madonna United States 08-18-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Well written, but...."

    In Search of the Rose Notes was well written but was a lot like an old fellow telling a story: it had difficulty coming to the point. I had to skip about an hour and a half of it (due to frustration with the pacing) and when I picked it back up it seemed I had missed nothing except more of Nora's memories from the early 90s.
    Another problem I had with the book was characters who were incredibly unlikeable. I didn't like Nora or Charlotte, the main characters. The final problem for me was the incongruity of Rose's suicide given her high level of emotional intelligence. It felt out of sync with probability.
    Emily Arsenault is talented and I have expectations of better books (or perhaps books that are simply better suited to my impatient nature) from her in the future.

    Finally, I would like to note that the reader was excellent, exhibiting a refreshing subtlety when moving from character to character.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
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