Sunday, March 27, 2011

What I'm Reading

Roses by Leila Meacham

This is really quite a large book, 600+ pages, though it didn't add any weight to my Kindle. :)  It's a multi-generational family saga set in Texas circa 1914-1985.  It's not quite "Dallas" but there is a certain way of life that comes from living in the south and being wealthy.  You have to be okay with reading about that to read this book; it's not about equality for the classes, etc.  These are the kind of families who do not disclose the contents of their wills until they are dead and gone for they know their family members will be shocked and unhappy with what they want. 

It's called "Roses" because two of the families can trace their roots back to the English royal warring houses, the Yorks and the Lancasters, and The War of the Roses.  "Out of mutual dependence, the two families had buried their ancestral differences, retaining only the emblems by which their allegiance to their respective houses in England were known - their roses.  The Warwicks, descended from the House of York, grew only white roses in their gardens, while the Tolivers cultivated exclusively red roses, the symbol of the House of Lancaster."  When founding the town of Howbutker, the DuMonts convinced the Warwicks and the Tolivers to grow both colors of roses as a sign of unity.  They also decide that they will send a red rose to ask forgiveness, if ever necessary, and a white rose will be returned to say that all is forgiven.

I'm only a few chapters in, but it's really quite addictive reading.  And it's nice to take a break from all my witches and vampires and post-apocalyptic worlds to read about "real" people and family drama.

This is one of the reviews on

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the small east Texas town of Howbutker is run by two families. The Tolivers preside over the massive cotton plantation of Somerset, while the Warwicks possess acres upon acres of timber. The children of the families, pretty and stubborn Mary Toliver and suave, strong Percy Warwick, are like water and oil. Percy insists that Mary will eventually marry him, and Mary is adamant that she will never have room in her heart for anything but Somerset, yet their undeniable attraction pulls them together. Through a trick of fate, Percy and Mary are forced apart. The consequences of their separation vibrate throughout the years, giving rise to lies, deceit, secrets, and tragedies that their families must suffer through, until, ultimately, they just have to leave it to Percy, Mary, and plain fate to see if they can make things right in the end. First-time novelist Meacham’s sweeping, century-encompassing, multigenerational epic is reminiscent of the film Giant, and as large, romantic, and American a tale as Texas itself. --Hilary Hatton

I can't wait to get to the meat of the book to see if this review is true.  But I do have to say that he is wrong in saying that the town is run by two families, the town was founded and is run by three families - the Tolivers, the Warwicks, and the DuMonts. 

I'll let you know what I think when I'm done.  Happy reading!

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