18 January 2010

Book Review: Coming Home by Melanie Rose

A young woman wakes up buried in the snow and has no idea what she is doing there. She's rescued by a local family, and they take her in, promising to look after her until her memory returns. But after several days, she still has no idea where she is, who she is or what she is doing. The family are looking after her well - daughter Jadie is a delight and has spoken for the first time in years, housekeeper Tara is pleasant but she can sense something is awry, and house owner Vincent is distant but she can feel a spark there.

When Tara's brother Colin visits and hypnotises her trying to find out something about her past, something is uncovered that none of them expect. Will she ever be able to uncover her identity, or will she be forever stuck with Vincent as his family pretending to be someone she's not?

I first heard of Melanie Rose when I read her fantastic debut novel Could It Be Magic? which started off as a self-published book and was later picked up by Harper Collins who I am sure are thrilled with the very talented author. Her second novel has a similar theme - a lost character trying to find themselves so I was very interested to see if it was going to be too similar to Could It Be Magic? for it to be enjoyable or if Rose would come up trumps again with her second book. After reading it and loving it, I can safely say Melanie Rose is quickly becoming one of my new favourite authors and I am so looking forward to seeing where she goes with her writing career.

The most curious thing about this book for me was not knowing the name of the leading character for pretty much the whole of the novel. Yes, she gives herself the name "Kate" after a considerable amount of time but as it's written in the first person from "Kate's" perspective, there isn't much need for a name and Rose uses lots of ways to get around this. I found this so interesting because while you felt you were getting to know the character in one way, you are also totally aware that you don't know her at all and the lack of name makes that completely obvious to the reader. In fact, we only find out her true identity at the very end of the book and her real name is mentioned once, blink and you'll miss it! I loved the way this was done and full credit to Melanie Rose for her writing of this part of the story.

Another brilliant thing about this novel was how multi-dimensional it was. As well as the mystery story of who our leading lady was (which actually seemed to take a back seat for a little while in the book), there were a few other stories in there too. One was to do with the family that "Kate" stays with - Jadie is very ill and hasn't spoken for years, yet speaks to Kate like it's nothing out of the ordinary. The story around this is actually quite heart-breaking and the way it slowly unfolds is so tenderly done that you are completely captivated by it. It is a tough area that is dealt with very delicately by Rose, and I think she has tackled them extremely well. She manages to grasp the emotions of a young girl, a broken father and a bereft housekeeper all in one book and yet you feel with each of them, it was just a joy to read.

The last thread of the book is the regression of "Kate" by Colin. It's not something that particularly interests me and not a subject I know much about myself, but it worked really well in this book, especially for the purpose of the story. You can tell that Rose has done her research for this book, and it comes across in the way she writes "Kate's" regressions, and the detail of the Victorian time she regresses to is perfect. I was almost in as much in love with Kitty's story as I was Kate's and that's no mean feat for an author to get the reader to love 2 stories within 1 book! It was a good addition to the novel, and I am so impressed by how well Rose has weaved all these different threads together to create such a fabulous read.

If you haven't discovered this author yet, then I definitely recommend you seek out a copy of this book because it is an amazing read. I thought Rose's debut novel was brilliant but she has bettered that with her second novel, and this makes me extremely excited for her further offerings! There is so much crammed into 400 pages, and it is a wonderful jounrey you go on with all of these characters. They seem so real as you read them, and you absolutely care for them 100% because they are written so brilliantly. Our leading lady was so lovely, and you can sense her emotion of despair, feeling lost yet also feeling somewhat found with her "new" family. It's a joy to read, and I loved every page, I was so gutted when it finished. A fantastic read, please do try to read it!

Rating: 5/5


  1. Thanks for the review, I look forward to reading both of Ms Rose's novels! The first one is already sitting on my shelf and the second one should be with me any day now - all thanks to your reviews here, you got me all excited about her! :)

  2. I'm soooo looking forward to reading it! I loved her first novel :).

  3. I love Melanie's books. Started Coming Home on day it came out, which was during our recent heavy snow so felt very apt! A totally engrossing story with well developed characters and a plot that draws you in. My one complaint is that there is a whole year to go before the next novel!