Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
It’s no exaggeration to say this is a lovely little book, evoking the heady scents and exquisite colors of antique roses as the author recounts his quest to learn the identity of the delicate pink rose, smelling of raspberries and peaches, that grows wild all over his family’s now abandoned country estate near Venice. That rose was brought to Italy from France by the author’s great-great-great-great grandmother, though the rose’s original ancestry is in China.
His grandmother got her interest in roses from Josephine Bonaparte, a dear friend, and the book is rich with fascinating rose related history stories about Josephine and other rose aficionados from 18th and 19th century Europe, a time when collectors roamed the world looking for the loveliest flowers. Readers are also introduced to Eleonora Garlant and her husband Vincent, a charming Italian couple who are spending their retirement tending to the thousands of rose varieties they have planted on their property.
I read an advanced review copy of this book so the illustrations, while beautiful, are black and white, but in the book for sale the watercolor sketches will be in full color and that should be breathtaking. The author has also written several other books including Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon , a biography of his great-great-great-great grandmother, which based on what I learned of her in this volume I am eager to read.