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Publisher's Summary

Kirkus Reviews hailed Erin Kelly’s debut novel The Poison Tree as “a richly shaded work.” Her atmospheric follow-up, The Dark Rose, follows Louisa, a 39-year-old still haunted by a tragic love affair from her youth. Seeking peace of mind, Louisa busies herself restoring an Elizabethan garden. But when she meets Paul - a 19-year-old with demons of his own - and the two become lovers, Louisa discovers that she can’t outrun the past forever.

©2012 Erin Kelly (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

“[A] brooding story and a real ‘can’t put it down’ mystery.” (Independent [UK])

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  • Leesha
  • Washington DC
  • 06-03-14

Secrets, guilt, reinvention

Any additional comments?

The Dark Rose is about two characters, Paul (an older teen) and Louisa (middle-age women) working on the restoration of a crumbling historic Elizabethan garden isolated in the English countryside. The story flips between current time (2012) and flashbacks (1990s) when Louisa was a teenager. There are lots of references to popular culture, mostly music, from the 90's. <br/><br/>Secrets, obsessions, mistakes and deep seeded-guilt are the central themes in this book. Lots of atmosphere, fast-paced until the final shocking moments. A fun read, especially because of the author's crisp wit keeps the reader engaged as the story swings along.<br/><br/>"When a new rose is planted on the same spot as an old one, you get a sick rose; it doesn't bloom and it'll probably die. No one really knows why."