I have just finished reading Meriol Trevor’s book The Rose Round to Sophie and Gemma-Rose. They were enthralled with the story from the very first page. So was I!
The book description on Amazon doesn’t say much at all:
Young Matt Rendal’s first experience with the extraordinary inhabitants of the great crumbling house called Woodhall was terrible. What had he done to deserve being sent here?
I don’t know if I would have been enticed to buy the book from those few words. (My sister Vicky lent me her copy.) But there is a better description on the Book Depositorywebsite:
13-year old Matt is spending the holidays at the dilapidated Woodhall mansion where his spirited step-sister Caroline works as cook. In a faded rose garden Matt meets Alix, proud old Madame Ayre’s granddaughter, and is introduced to the tension-filled relationship between the embittered mother and her crippled son Theo. Matt must learn to judge character rather than appearances as Theo strives to turn the house into a home for orphans. Alix, through her willful foolishness, puts Theo’s life in danger and brings a dramatic confrontation: Christian hope versus fatal self-pride. A timeless book with a fast-paced plot and vivid characters.
The Rose Round is also available from Bethlehem Books.
While I was reading this book, thoughts of writing my own story set in an almost fairy-tale setting, such as the old Woodhall stately home, crossed my mind. I would like to create such interesting characters as Theo and Caro, characters readers care about. And of course I would add Catholic background details such as those found in The Rose Round: the statue of Our Lady, Mass in the chapel, the priest arriving for confession…
I am not good at writing reviews so I will stop there and just say if you are looking for a fiction book to read out loud that will be enjoyed by both mother and children, read The Rose Round.
“Is there a sequel?” asked Sophie, when we got to the last page and we still longed for more.
Unfortunately there isn’t… but I have been looking at the other Meriol Trevor books. I am going to order Sun Slower, Sun Faster. Here’s the description on Book Depository:
This is an adventurous story with a difference–it is soon after World War II, but Cecil (short for Cecilia) and her cousin, Rickie, are thrown into a series of adventures that have little to do with the England that they know. Inexplicably, they, and sometimes their eccentric and interesting tutor, Dominic, find themselves in another time-usually right in the middle of a dramatic, if not harrowing, moment. Every dip into time takes them farther back and each time they experience another chapter of the Church’s history and teachings. At once fun and frightening, these escapades into the past take on deeper and deeper significance. Each of these three Cecil, Rickie, Dominic are faced with things from their own pasts which touch deeply upon who they are in the present and who they will choose to be in the uncertain but tantalizing future. They have much to sort out, as history-especially the history of the Christian Faith-comes unexpectedly alive.
Meriol Trevor wrote a 4 book series for children The Letzenstein Chronicles.:
The Crystal Snowstorm
Following the Phoenix
Angel and Dragon
The Rose and Crown
Four books? That sounds very satisfying.
Has anyone read The Letzenstein Chronicles? I’d love to hear more.