Friday, 21 March 2014

Book: Blue Rose by Sarah Daltry

Blue Rose is the most recent book in the Flowering series, and runs roughly parallel to both Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley. (So before Star of Bethlehem.)

In book 1 Lily's story was told, and in book 2 we heard from Jack, but Blue Rose tells Alana's story, about her past, her present, and her dealing with it. Revisiting events from her past (since she was 11) with her new Councillor, Melinda, Alana faces up to some things that she has tried to repress, and recognises the need to come clean about certain things, even the things that she has hidden from Jack all these years. But dealing with the past isn't always an easy past to go down, particularly for Alana.

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

I had to think about when I wanted to write this review, that may sound silly but it was whether or not to leave time between reading and writing the review. Normally I don’t leave a gap at all, but reading Blue Rose has left me quite emotional. In the end, I’ve decided to write it straight away, still feeling all the emotions that the book made me feel, I thought it would reflect better.

Now, the reason it has left me feeling so worked up. I won’t go into detail because I don’t really want to, and because this is a book blog and you don’t read my reviews to find out about my personal issues, but some of the issues that Alana has had to face in her life are scarily similar to some of the issues I have experienced myself. And the accuracy with which Daltry described some of the feelings associated with those issues were so realistic that it couldn’t help but make me cry.

As you can probably tell, Blue Rose is different from the other Flowering books so far, though Lily and Jack both had their issues, they only really scratch the surface in comparison to those of Alana, making this book far more emotional and maybe even darker, than any of the previous ones. That’s not to say that there aren’t moments of happiness and more importantly, hope, because there are, and the whole book is fantastically written (as were the others).

There was also a different set up to this book, there were some chapters that focused solely on events from Alana’s past (clearly marked) and they weren’t in chronological order. That may sound strange, but in the present Alana has started to see Melinda, and it is as she tells her about her experiences that the reader learns of them too. It was kind of like getting to know someone in real life, you had the surface Alana in the previous books, but then Blue Rose has peeled back the layers until you get the real Alana underneath.

I’m worried I’m coming across too negative, because I don’t feel negative about this book at all, it has left me emotionally raw I will admit, but there is no part of me that regrets reading it. In fact it is that raw emotion that made this book so enjoyable (well not enjoyable exactly but I can’t really think of the right word!)

Finally, if you’re still with me at this point, I think it should be mentioned that there are several issues dealt with in Blue Rose that some people may find particularly difficult to read about, including (but not just), depression, trust issues, abuse (both physical and sexual), and self harm.