Reading group reviews: Drowning Rose by Marikka Cobbold
24 May 2012 / 0 Comments
We gave away reading group sets of Drowning Rose by Marikka Cobbold. If your reading group or book club has read the book, please do use this page to post your reviews and see what other reading group members think of it.
About the book
It is winter in London. Eliza Cummings, a ceramics restorer at the V&A Museum, is leaving work when she receives an unexpected phone call. Standing in the haze of the Christmas lights she hears a voice which draws her back twenty-five years - to the tragic death of her best friend. But why does Rose's father want her to visit him? Why now? And why is he killing her with kindness when they both know that he blames her for what happened to his daughter?
Grief and guilt cast terrible shadows, but as this beautifully wrought story unfolds and the scene shifts from London to the fairy tale landscape of the Swedish countryside - and back in time to Eliza's school days - we learn that generosity, humour and friendship can smooth over and restore even the most broken lives, and that some secrets just can't be kept hidden.
About the author
Marika Cobbold was born in Sweden and is the author of six previous novels: Guppies for Tea, selected for the WH Smith First Novels Promotion and shortlisted for the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award; The Purveyor of Enchantment; A Rival Creation; Frozen Music, Shooting Butterflies and, most recently, Aphrodite's Workshop for Reluctant Lovers. Marika Cobbold lives in London.
Follow Marika Cobbold on Twitter.
From the notes on the back and the title we thought it would be quite a sad book, but actually it was quite life-affirming and positive. There was a lot of humour in the book, and we found Ruth to be a very funny character.
We felt a strong theme of the book was the misunderstanding of others by both Eliza and Cassandra, them believing one thing about others around them when actually they were trying to communicate something else. Cassandra really never understood how the 'Princesses' and the boys really saw her until close to the end of their story. Eliza seemed to misinterpret and misunderstand people around her too, from her ex husband Gabriel to her Uncle Ian.
We felt that the bullying at school by the 'Princesses' of the girl from a different background was very well portrayed and quite true to life. One member who had been bullied felt a small sense of satisfaction that the victim - Cassandra had such a negative impact on one of the bullies' life, in that Eliza was left thinking she was responsible for the death of Rose.
We all agreed that we felt we got to know all the characters really well and understood their role in the story, we had all guessed early on who was really responsible for Rose's death though - we're not sure if this was intentional or not though. By realising that Eliza might not be the guilty person part way through the book you felt more empathetic towards her.
We would recommend this book to others, but really as a lazy Sunday afternoon or a sunbed on holiday book as it is fairly easy and undemanding to read, but a good enough story to keep you engaged and keep the page turning.
-- Houghton Reading Group
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