Drowning Rose by Marika Cobbold

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Drowning Rose by Marika Cobbold

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Buy Drowning Rose by Marika Cobbold at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: A trio of like-minded female friends - and an awkward outsider, all attend the same school. As emotions start to bubble to the surface, a terrible accident happens to one of the girls - but who is blamed and who cannot shake it off decades later?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: August 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408808177

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We meet Eliza, the main character, many years after the terrible 'event'. Eliza is a grown woman now and has a fulfilling job at the V & A Museum in London. It's a far cry from her childhood in the peaceful countryside of her native Sweden but she seems happy enough. And in amidst the cheerful, jostling, Christmas crowds of the capital and its infectious atmosphere, she receives a rather worrying phone call, totally out of the blue. It stuns her, she has to catch her breath a little and it takes her back around twenty five years to that fateful day. And now Eliza is a bag of nerves. She'd tried so hard to cope, to keep the past firmly in the past but she hasn't been entirely successful.

The tragedy, which involved the death of a close school friend, has obviously left its mark on Eliza. For example, her marriage has recently fallen apart. She describes it as ... there came a kind of peace. The kind that comes when there's nothing left to fight for. She doesn't really have family nearby and therefore feels a little lonely, a little vulnerable even, at times. After this worrying phone call she could do with some advice ...

And as the novel jumps back and forth in time, we meet some of Eliza's school friends. There's Rose (who has given the book its title). Rose is the girl who lost her life. She was only a teenager and had the rest of her life before her. Tragic. And as I'm reading I'm really enjoying Cobbold's style and format. For example, as the girls are introduced to us, each tells her own story in her own way and in her own words which makes it rather effective and very more-ish. There's also Sandra/Cassandra (and there's a very good reason for the double take here). Sandra/Cassandra is a worryingly complex individual. We see her trying to shake off her dull parents and modest roots in order to mix with the glamorous in-crowd. She says (probably with an ugly grimace) All that was needed was a flat cap for my father and wrinkled stockings for my mother and they could have walked straight out of Last Of The Summer Wine. Her progress at school makes for interesting reading. I loved Sandra/Cassandra and in my opinion, she could easily have a whole novel devoted to her. I wanted more and more of her - and her character traits.

The other girl (pretty, talented, of course) who makes up this golden set is called Portia. Sandra/Cassandra desperately wants to be part of their group. She tries various ways and scheming methods but they don't quite hit the mark. Her rage starts to bubble up and this slow build-up of rage is terrific. It's also scary. Sandra/Cassandra has thrown caution to the winds now and seems to tell a whole new set of lies every other day. Is she believed? Things take a turn for the worse. The golden threesome laugh and pity Sandra/Cassandra. Someone will regret it.

As the story develops further we see that secrets, lies, guilt, revenge all play their part. I loved Cabbold's style which I'd describe as elegantly intelligent. She's a good storyteller and I agree with the blurb on the back cover which states that this book will be A perfect book for reading groups, book clubs ... An engaging read and a plot which will resonate with many readers, I think. Recommended.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals, try The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson.

Buy Drowning Rose by Marika Cobbold at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Drowning Rose by Marika Cobbold at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Drowning Rose by Marika Cobbold at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Drowning Rose by Marika Cobbold at Amazon.com.

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