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The pages flew...,
This review is from: In Search of the Rose Notes: A Novel (Paperback)In 1990, eleven-year-old Nora and Charlotte were best friends in Waverly, Connecticut, spending hours at Charlotte's home playing games and perusing the history of paranormal and dream analysis theories in Charlotte's brother's discarded Time-Life books to pass time until Nora's departure to coincide with her working mother's return. When babysitter Rose, an abundantly superior high school teenager whose savoir faire and infamously loose language enters their lives, she captivates and also exacerbates the subtle competitive discord between Nora and Charlotte.
Within these small town routines and boundaries, the unimaginable happens; walking home with Nora and after saying good-bye, Rose mysteriously vanishes. Nora, especially distraught as the last person to see Rose alive, joins Charlotte in exploring paranormal methodology to determine her fate. Unsuccessful and frustrated in their somewhat unorthodox attempts, years pass without any leads or answers as Nora and Charlotte drift apart. In 2006, Rose's remains are discovered not far from Nora's childhood home. Nora returns to Waverly in search of unanswered questions, ambivalently succumbing to Charlotte's overbearing claims that they alone have sufficient evidence and the requisite skills to solve Rose's disappearance and manner of death.
Emily Arsenault's narrative deftly transitions from the present to the past, authentically capturing Nora's adolescent angst and adult resistance to resurrect old wounds, Charlotte's alarming descent into small town anonymity, an adult living in her parents' home, and weaving a psychologically complex and engrossing web of unraveling secrets which lead to a shocking unforeseen conclusion.