6 September 2012

Book Review: The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson

"Every love story has a dangerous twist. Tamia Challey is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible - but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But this choice has dire consequences for all concerned, especially when matters take a tragic turn. Then a stranger arrives in town to sprinkle rose petals in the sea in memory of her lost loved one. This stranger carries with her shocking truths that will change the lives of everyone she meets, and will once again force Tamia to make some devastating choices..."

Rating: 5/5

Nothing gets me more excited in a list of book publications than a new Dorothy Koomson novel. I absolutely adore her books, the drama, the shocking twists and turns along the way, and the dramatic storylines that she effortlessly weaves between the pages. Dorothy has just moved publishers to Quercus, so this book has been a little while coming, but believe me when I say it's worth the wait. The Rose Petal Beach is a stunning novel of love, loss and betrayal and has an equally stunning cover to match, I love the muted tones and how they clash with the red of the rose petals. For fans of Dorothy's previous books, you will love this one, I guarantee it!

Tamia Challey thought that she had it all. She's happily married to husband Scott, and together they have 2 beautiful young daughters, a lovely home, 2 best friends, Beatrix and Mirabelle whom she loves dearly, and is happy. But all that changes when one evening, a police officer knocks on the door and arrests her husband. Scott seems to know what is coming, but Tamia doesn't and is shell-shocked. What follows is the undoing of Tamia's life as she knows it, with shock revelations and truths being uncovered that Tamia had no idea about. Will Tamia choose to fight for her marriage, or has too much damage been done to ever come back from?

It's sort of hard to review this book because I don't want to reveal too much of the storyline, as one of the best things about reading it is undiscovering the story as it slowly unfolds. Koomson manages the book by telling it through the present tense, with Tamia and Scott's story unfolding, and then moves back and forth  between the past and present, telling us the back story of Tamia and co, the back story of their lives and how they have ended up in the predicament that they are in. Many of the chapters are from Tamia's point of view, although we also get chapters from Beatrix, Tamia's best friend and Fleur, a character revealed later on in the book, and the mix of narrative worked well, and gives us different sides of the story too.

The story is based around one theme, which progresses and changes at the book goes on, but the driving force of the book is the emotion of the characters. Koomson manages to get into the heart of her characters and really display their feelings through her words, and also their actions. In particular, I felt she wrote Tamia amazingly well, the wronged wife struggling to keep life going as normally as she can, and I felt so sorry for her. The other characters, well you don't see things until they are revealed by Koomson and I loved that, it really keeps an air of suspense throughout the book as you seriously don't know what is happening, and I was left in shock when things came to a conclusion at the end of the book.

I would argue that this is probably my favourite of Koomson's novels to date. It has all of the ingredients to make a fantastic book, and Koomson makes them work well together to create a gripping and tense story that will leave you on the edge of your seat desperate to read more pages. It's a big old hardback book, and at over 400 pages, it's a long story but it makes full use of every page. I loved it, I loved the characters, the storyline, the mystery throughout, it's just a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves high quality women's fiction. Koomson seems to get better and better with every book and this books reaffirms why she's one of the my favourite authors! Read it!

You can buy The Rose Petal Beach as a hardback or an eBook now.

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