Rose's Garden

Carrie Brown, Author
Carrie Brown, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $20.95 (264p) ISBN 978-1-56512-174-4
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
When Conrad Morrissey's wife, Rose, dies after 50 years of marriage, it takes an angelic visit to save him from his grief. That is the familiar premise of Brown's sweet, gentle first novel, set in the small town of Laurel, N.H. Once the ghost of his dead father-in-law prompts Conrad to concern himself with the living instead of the dead, he discovers that Rose's mysterious friend Hero, a slightly retarded girl with whom she shared a love of gardening, has also been receiving instruction from the dead. ""And what had it been to Hero? He could not guess, except to believe that her world had always been filled with voices, the spokesmen of recrimination and doubt."" As rain threatens to obliterate Laurel's ancient dam, and the town itself, Conrad finds new meaning in the memory of his wife and in devotion to the White Mountains community where they both spent the best years of their lives. A town full of sympathetic characters, including the widowed neighbor who can only sleep when every light in the house is on, and the beleaguered editor of the local paper, round out this sensitive debut. (Mar.)
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