Thursday, September 8, 2016

Book Review: Root, Petal, Thorn

Root, Petal, ThornAuthor: Ella Joy Olsen
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Kensington

In this beautifully written and powerful debut novel, Ella Joy Olsen traces the stories of five fascinating women who inhabit the same  historic home over the course of a century—braided stories of love, heartbreak and courage connect the women, even across generations.
Ivy Baygren has two great loves in her life: her husband, Adam, and the bungalow they buy together in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Utah. From the moment she and Adam lay eyes on the  home, Ivy is captivated by its quaint details—the old porch swing, ornate tiles, and especially  an heirloom rose bush bursting with snowy white blossoms.  Called the Emmeline Rose for the home’s original owner, it seems yet another sign that this place will be Ivy’s happily-ever-after…Until her dreams are shattered by Adam’s unexpected death.
Striving to be strong for her two children, Ivy decides to tackle the home-improvement projects she and Adam once planned. Day by day, as she attempts to rebuild her house and her resolve, she uncovers clues about previous inhabitants, from a half-embroidered sampler to buried wine bottles. And as Ivy learns about the women who came before her—the young Mormon torn between her heart and anti-polygamist beliefs, the Greek immigrant during World War II, a troubled single mother in the 1960s—she begins to uncover the lessons of her own journey. For every story has its sadness, but there is also the possibility of blooming again, even stronger and more resilient than before…

Relieved to take a break from the sad twist in my own tale, I was more than eager to consider hers.

He was picturing his home freshly built, his wife a young woman with a baby on her hip. He was pondering 1944.

She smiled and leaned into him. “Yes, this house has harbored its fair share and it’s still standing. Surely it can handle you.”

This book is such a charming, cozy read. The book starts out with Ivy Baygren and her sudden bout of grief because of her husband’s unexpected passing. She tries to work through her husband’s passing by working on the sweet, little house that they purchased together. As Ivy works in and around the house she and her husband shared together, she starts to wonder about the history of the house and others that lived in it before her. Ivy finds small mementos left by other females that have lived in the house from 1913 onwards. As readers, we get a peek into the lives of each of these women. The story is told from alternating viewpoints and each character is just as crisp and carefully written as the last.

Each of the women who lived in the house had such interesting stories to share. I was so excited to get to a new chapter for each woman so that I could continue their stories. This book is so magical in its delivery. All of the lives you will read about are enchanting and personable; you won’t be able to put this book down. There are many emotional parts of this book. You will feel the same pains as the characters and you will find yourself rooting for their happily ever afters. I was so enthralled by how eloquent and completely endearing this book was that I struggled to put it down. I even woke up early one morning just to read some more!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Kensington in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. Chelsey! Thank you for your lovely review! I'm so happy you enjoyed Root, Petal, Thorn. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm with all of your followers. It means a lot to a newbie author...