Two East Texas families must deal with the aftermath of a marriage that never happened leading to deceit, secrets, and tragedies in a sweeping multigenerational Southern saga "with echoes of Gone with the Wind" (Publishers Weekly).
Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, controlled by the scions of the town's founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with consequences of their momentous choice and the loss of what might have been--not just for themselves but for their children, and their children's children.
With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans, and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.
This enthralling stunner, a good old-fashioned read, may herald the overdue return of those delicious doorstop epics from such writers as Barbara Taylor Bradford and Colleen McCullough. Meacham's multigenerational family saga, set in East Texas circa 1914 1985, charts the transformation of Mary Toliver, a wide-eyed 16-year-old heiress, into a calculating cotton plantation queen as hardheaded as Scarlett O'Hara. Her brother, Miles, goes off to WWI, returns home, but then goes back to France to marry Marietta, a French Communist, leaving Mary to deal with their plantation, Somerset, and Darla, their alcoholic mother (who later hangs herself ). Many years later, Mary, now an elderly, terminally ill widow, resolves to defeat the "Toliver Curse" and regrets "selling her soul for Somerset" and giving up her true love, Percy Warwick, the father of their secret child, to marry their friend Ollie DuMont, who helped her save Somerset when Percy refused. Meacham uses three well-balanced viewpoints: Mary's, Percy's and Rachel's, Mary's great-niece, who must confront Percy when she discovers some disquieting family information after Mary dies. A refreshingly nostalgic bouquet of family angst, undying love and "if onlys."
A great book, not what I expected from this author after reading Dragonfly. Goes on a bit but if you stick through it’s an entertaining read.
I love this book! It is a little difficult to get in to at first but once you do you’re stuck!
I really liked the generational piece of this book, however it really could have been a better story line with more substance.