Saturday, March 11, 2023

Rose Cottage - Classic Fiction Review

Goodreads:  Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Library

Description:  Rose Cottage, a tiny thatched dwelling in an idyllic English country setting, would appear the picture of tranquillity to any passerby. But when Kate Herrick returns to her childhood home she uncovers a web of intrigue as tangled as the rambling roses in its garden. 
It is the summer of 1947. Kate, widowed in the War and comfortably settled in London, travels to Rose Cottage to retrieve some family papers for her grandmother. Curious as to the changes and the welcome she'll find, she is relieved when, at first glance, everything seems just as she remembers it. But she soon finds disturbing evidence of a break-in. The papers are missing. The village is alive with gossip. Did her elderly neighbors, suspected of being witches, really see nighttime prowlers and ghosts in the cottage garden? Kate's search for the truth brings her together with many childhood friends and neighbors, some suspicious of her return, but most eager to help. It also leads her down a trail of family bitterness, jealousy, and revenge - and into an exploration of her own past.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been wanting to read more Mary Stewart and I just picked this one up on a whim.  

My Impression:  This was a sweet story with a touch of intrigue at the beginning and middle.  Kate Herrick has come a long way since she was Kathy Whelland who lived at Rose Cottage with her grandmother and great-aunt.  However, Kate is not torn or hiding from her past in any way which was nice.  She had a good childhood except for the disappearance of her mother when Kate was a little girl and having to deal with her rather dour great-aunt.  
When she arrives back at Rose Cottage to pack up her grandmother's belongings she's happy to reunite with the places and friends of her childhood even though something is definitely amiss around the cottage.
Kate is a nice character as are most of the people who inhabit the village surrounding Rose Cottage and everyone has an opinion or sighting.  
I have read this and then listened to the abridged version.  Normally, I'm not a fan of abridged book but this one was read by Samantha Eggar and was absolutely fantastic.  The shortened form works nicely for this story and if you can find the version narrated by Eggar it's definitely worth it.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would!  I've really enjoyed everything I've read by her so far and really want to finish all of her books.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you're looking for a sweet story with likable characters this is a nice quick read or short listen!


  1. I haven't read a Mary Stewart book in years. I like her work, this one sounds good.

  2. A sweet story with likable characters sounds wonderful!!

  3. It's been so long since I read this one, I really need to read it again. Great review! :D

  4. I've found the abridged version by this narrator so have added it to my wishlist. I see someone says of the longer version (painful narration) so I guess the abridged one it is.

  5. I don't think that I have ever listened to an abridged book. This sounds really good!