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Rose Cottage Hardcover – August 20, 1997

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st U.S. ed edition (August 20, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688155847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688155841
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Mary Stewart launched a world full of romance readers, and she invented romantic suspense. In this beautifully written gothic, Kate Herrick, a young widow in war-torn London, returns to her family home of Rose Cottage to retrieve family mementos for her Gran. When Kate arrives, she finds that the mementos have mysteriously disappeared. While looking for answers to age-old family mysteries (her single mother supposedly ran off with gypsies) Kate rekindles friendships with neighbors, kinsman, and old childhood companions. The bittersweet memories that Kate examines help her to redefine herself as a widow and as a young woman with a great need for family ties.

From Kirkus Reviews

For the frazzled Anglophile, the countryside-enamored reader, here's a bit of romance, light mystery, and the reassuring stability of a timeless English village--in short, another Stewart comforter (The Stormy Petrel, 1991, etc.). Here, a young widow returns in 1947 to her childhood home and the enigma of her parentage. Kate Herrick, n‚e Welland, who lost her husband in the war, is summoned to Scotland by her beloved grandmother, formerly a cook in the household of Sir James Brandon. She asks Kate to return to their native village in the north of England, where Kate was raised by Gran and severe Aunt Betsy. Kate's mother Lilias, who'd become pregnant while serving at the Brandons' estate, had left Kate at six, never to return. Gran had told Kate that she had ``gone with the gipsies,'' but some years later Kate learned that her mother and new husband had been killed in Ireland in a bus accident. Now, Kate is to come again to Gran's Rose Cottage, long shuttered, charged with shipping some of Gran's belongings to her in Scotland and with locating a neatly hidden safe containing family items of sentimental value. But someone has broken into the cottage, ripped out the safe, and removed its contents. Then there are strange rumors of odd appearances, generated mainly by the ``Witches Corner''--comprised of two gossipy ladies, as well as a feathery individual who's sure she has ``the sight'' and has seen a dead woman digging in the cottage yard and piling flowers on the grave of mean Aunt Betsy. With the help of young Davey, son of old family friends, and scraps of information from neighbors, Kate will at last discover an absent mother and a name for an unknown father. Soothing as a warm brew on a cold night are Stewart's satisfying denouements--and environs: ``. . . willows and wild roses, cuckoo-pint and king cups, and a wood pigeon crooning in the elm.'' Mild doings in enchanting surroundings. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Mart Stewart, one of the most popular novelists writing today, was born in Sunderland, County Durham, England. After boarding-school, she recieved a B.A. with first class honors in English Language and Literature from Durham University and went on for her M.A. Later she returned to her own University as a Lecturer in English. She married in 1945. Her husband is Sir Frederick Stewart, who is Chairman of the Geology Department at Edinburgh University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.Mary Stewart's career as a novelist began in 1954 with the publication of Madam, Will You Talk? Since then she has published fifteen successful novels, including The Last Enchantment, the third book of the magical trilogy about the legendary enchanter Merlin and young Arthur. Her books for young readers, The Little Broomstick (1971) and Ludo and the Star Horse (1974), quickly met with the same success as her other novels. In 1968, she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. In 1971, the Scottish Chapter of the International PEN Association awarded her the Frederick Niven prize for the The Crystal Cave. In 1974, the Scottish Arts Council Award went to Ludo and the Star Horse.

Customer Reviews

The secondary characters are great.
There were a lot of long details that made the book drag and which didn't seem to be necessary.
Joy Saunchegraw
The author tells a good story and has a knack of bringing characters to life.
Christine Witchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 23, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this third of what I call the cottage trilogy, Mary Stewart abandons the exotic and returns to what she holds dear and with which she is most familiar, life in the north country. Although many readers of these three novels, "Thornyhold", "The Stormy Petrel" and "Rose Cottage", feel that Stewart's storytelling techniques within them had weakened, I do not find this to be the case. I agree that these storylines do not revolve around a situation involving murder or any other sort of mayhem that provides the focal point of her internationally set so-called suspense thrillers. Here, the first person narrators are in a transitional period where the discovery of self becomes the primary mystery and the gentile north country setting provides part of an answer rather than an exotic backdrop. The lack of alien setting or heart-pumping life and death circumstances does not, however, detract from Ms. Stewart's overwhelming ability to place the reader inside the head of the narrator and see the world from her perspective. The same talented hand that wrote "My Brother Michael" and "This Rough Magic" is ever present in the warm and comfortable scenes depicted within the Rose Cottage. As her uncanny ability to reproduce a scene for all five senses works as powerfully here as in any of her other works, I merely think the novel contains a smaller story, yet maintains the same perfection in storytelling.

Specifically, "Rose Cottage" relates the "coming of awareness" of Kate Herrick, a young woman in a state of transition. Born on the wrong side of the blanket in a small northern village, she faces the future alone in London after the death of her young husband during WWII.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. Very few books make me cry nowadays but this one did. I finished it in about a day and when I was close to the end I said to my husband "I want to own this book." It was the perfect blend of coziness, English countryside, suspense, romance, not to mention the fact that it was touching. My mom is more of the Mary Stewart fan than I am, but that may change now. I remember reading her Merlin trilogy years ago and would highly recommend them. So if you want a little escape to a cozy world that isn't too syrupy-sweet, get this book!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TinTinKyrano on November 10, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sounds familiar, but thats why I like it so much. Delicate flowering fields described so carefully you can feel the breeze and smell the pollen... God bless you!

A strong female lead, Kathy this time around has returned to her roots only to find a jimmied safehole and a long lost friend.

Great character chemistry and funny, too. This is a great read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After the truly awful "The Prince and the Pilgrim" I really hesitated to read this one as I felt Mary Stewart was past her prime and had lost it. This book, however, is a mixed blessing.
It starts out well, much in the manner of her earlier suspense novels which I much admired and enjoyed (and still do, I re-read them regularly even now, 30 years since I first read one). However about 2/3 of the way through the books it peters out to a very mundane ending.
I would rate the book 4 stars for the beginning and 1-2 stars for the ending, so gave it 3 overall as an average.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jet Jaguar on January 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was engrossed from Chapter 1. It wasn't as dangerously dramatic or violently romantic as her other books (all of which I've enjoyed, so far), but it had drama, it was romantic. The story was beautifully written, realistically conveyed; the plot gracefully woven, not cluttered. All the things we seem to need in our books and films these days, romance, scandal, suspense, deceit, death... were there, and in their place, not exploded to overwhelming proportions. I recognised some of the people she described, most of us have known similar, in our own spheres. Sometimes you want a comfortable read, but nothing too dull... and this is the book for it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on July 22, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The year is 1947. Kate Herrick is a young World War II widow. She barely knew her husband, but that hasn't stopped others from paying their respects. She has sought a new life in London. But then her grandmother calls one day. Could Kate go to the Rose Cottage and retrieve some papers? Kate remembers the Rose Cottage. It is one of the cottages at the English estate where her grandparents and aunt worked as servants. The Brandons, the estate owners, have always trusted her grandmother and have let her keep the cottage. Now Gran is in the hospital, nothing serious, or so she says, but is adamant about getting some documents from the cottage. There is just one problem: the documents are missing. The search for those papers unveils a web of lies, secrets, and all of sorts of sinister twists that Kate could have never envisaged. At least there is tall and handsome Davey to help her uncover the mysteries around her...

Published in 1997, this is one of Mary Stewart's final efforts. The Rose Cottage isn't quite as good as The Ivy Tree or Nine Coaches Waiting, but it is a wonderful romantic suspense novel full of the atmospheric gothic elements that I enjoy and that could be expected from this author. It is a fast read, in first-person narrative and good historical aspects centered on post-war England. The secondary characters are great. The heroine is Stewart's special brand of courageous and naïve found in all of the novels I've read so far. Davey is also Stewart's standard alpha male. The twists and turns are well woven and developed -- better than most romantic suspense novels written by today's authors. All in all, The Rose Cottage is an enjoyable read. However, I'll stick to Stewart's older efforts from now on. I still have My Brother Michael and look forward to reading it soon.
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