The Trouble with Rose by Amita Murray
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: 14th February 2019
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
A missing sister. A broken heart.
A whole lot of trouble…
Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes, The Trouble with Rose is an unforgettable story about a messy family, a big secret at its heart, and the unbreakable bond between sisters.
Rilla is getting married. Except she isn’t. She’s running away – from her confused fiancé Simon, her big mad family, and the memories nipping at her heels.
Her sister Rose would know what to do in such times of crisis.
But the trouble is, Rose is the crisis. She disappeared years ago, and Rilla’s heart went missing too.
Where is Rose? And who is Rilla without Rose?
If she’s to rescue some happiness out of all this chaos, she needs to find out.
Rilla is about to get married to Simon but shortly before the wedding ceremony she’s arrested for shoplifting. Yes. Her own and Simon’s family manage to get her out of prison but Rilla isn’t happy, she can’t settle, she’s consumed with guilt about her sister Rose who has disappeared 16 years ago. Talking about Rose is forbidden in Rilla’s family but she can’t find peace until she knows what has happened. She needs to find her sister.
Personally I had huge problems with the main character. She came across as very spoiled and childish and all the time wanting something, whingy and unhappy. Rilla’s actions weren’t sweet for me, and she was mostly passive – aggressive and simply I couldn’t warm to her. Indecisive and behaving as if the whole world should revolve around her, with demanding attitude and not too likeable – and this hugely busted this story for me. I know, you don’t have to like the main character to enjoy the book but this time, as this story was very main character driven, it simply didn’t work. She’s convinced that it’s her fault that Rose disappeared, as she was mean and rude to her sister – but to be honest, she was like this to every living person in her proximity. It wasn’t funny anymore, it wasn’t charming, it was simply not nice. Although the way Rilla suffered because of all those secrets, of being kept in darkness was brilliantly described, and we could easily see that she felt isolated, she started to have panic attacks, she was struggling in every aspect of her life, and it wasn’t easy to watch – I wanted her to succeed in solving the Rose’s mystery, and I was also intrigued what has happened to her.
On the other hand, I adored her family – this huge group of eclectic and eccentric characters, they could have been annoying and interfering but you wouldn’t have to fear anything with them at your side. Loud and sarcastic and reserving the right to know everything about every other member of the family, always well meaning, I know they would drive me crazy, but as they weren’t my family I could totally enjoy them.
“The Trouble with Rose” was a book that intertwined humour with poignant moments and with different and unique storyline. I think that the search for Rose was not simply a search for Rose, that there was much more to it, it was actually Rilla also trying to work out what it is she wants to do with her life, if she’s able to love. As a result, we get a warm story about dysfunctioning family, lies and secrets and as an extra bonus there are tons of information about Indian culture and community – but it was refreshing and interesting. It was humorous, it was chaotic, and it had some brilliant moments – I, for example, adored the mentally messed up Lord Basingstoke, the cat, for whom Simon was trying to figure out parabolas. Maybe it wasn’t the right read for me, maybe I didn’t get the main character but I appreciated this novel, and I’ll be looking for more from Amita Murray.