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A Rose So Fair (Flowers of Eden Book 3) Kindle Edition
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The only one who seems to not have changed is her best friend Caleb Wieland. But then he starts with talks about marriage... why would he want to change the way things are to something more complicated? And is he trying to save her and himself from the troubles facing their time or does he truly love her in a different way?
I loved Rose and understood her hurt and fears. She is so afraid of losing people that she shoves them away before they can crawl into her heart and then hurt her. Caleb is a gentle and patient suitor who will do anything for Rose, but, also, will leave the end result in God's hand and not let his own dreams and plans on finding purpose in life be set aside.
I was surprised at how romantic this book is considering Rose's prickly and independent nature. But Caleb's undeterred to make her see that it is worth pursuing more than just friendship and they will never lose their special bond, no matter the distance or circumstances.
Along with a fantastic set of secondary characters, Caleb will try to teach Rose that to stubbornly refuse help and to keep people at a safe distance will only lead to loneliness and isolation from those people who love you deeply and care about you - be it friends or family. And that it is always worth risking opening your heart up for people to make a difference in your life.
I also really enjoyed the historical info about Depression Era programs that helped the country slowly recover from the Great Depression. This book is well worth the price... maybe worth DOUBLE the price. If you enjoyed the first two, you certainly won't be disappointed with th is last one. Again, it was my favorite, but then, that's just me.
The author has given avid fans of the Linwood sisters a stupendous send off though, with plenty of sisterly interaction and a heartwarming epilogue that I savored in a contented buzz of bibliophile delight. No worries if you haven't read the first two books -- The Sweetest Rain and Castles in the Clouds -- book three can definitely be read as a standalone...though I highly recommend reading the entire series.
So what captivates me about this series? Definitely the Linwood sisters. Each uniquely talented in a different way -- but they all share one common familial trait -- pigheaded stubborness! Which makes for some great sibling dynamics, aka, hot-headed discussions. But Bryony, Lark and Rose are also fiercely loyal to one another. There's no doubting their mutual love, though their strong personalities often clash.
And speaking of strong personalities and stubbornness -- throw in a healthy dose of fiesty and more than a dash of digging-in-my-heels-and-never-giving-up and you get a good idea of what Rose is like. As pretty -- and thorny-- as her name.
Caleb is smitten...but our prickly Rose doesn't make it easy for him. She doesn't do change well (and I can totally relate to that!) But there have been a lot of changes in her life in recent years -- both sisters marrying, the birth of a niece, the death of her beloved grandfather...it's enough to send her running scared. There is something so heartwarming about Caleb's steadfast loyalty -- his sweet determination to woo Rose and win her heart.
Their tumultuous love story is set against the backdrop of a nation struggling to recover from a severe economic downturn. Johnson has incorporated some fascinating details into the plot and her author's note at the back of the book is worth reading. I learned a lot and, as I've said before, I love getting history lessons through fiction!
An exceptional conclusion to the Flowers of Eden series -- even though I'm reluctant to leave Eden behind.