This enthralling stunner, a good old fashioned read, may herald the overdue return of those delicious doorstop epics from such writers as Barbara Taylor Bradford and Colleen McCullough Meacham s multigenerational family saga, set in East Texas circa 1914 1985, charts the transformation of Mary Toliver, a wide eyed 16 year old heiress, into a calculating cotton plantation queen as hardheaded as Scarlett O Hara Her brother, Miles, goes off to WWI, returns home, but then goes back to France to marry Marietta, a French Communist, leaving Mary to deal with their plantation, Somerset, and Darla, their alcoholic mother who later hangs herself Many years later, Mary, now an elderly, terminally ill widow, resolves to defeat the Toliver Curse and regrets selling her soul for Somerset and giving up her true love, Percy Warwick, the father of their secret child, to marry their friend Ollie DuMont, who helped her save Somerset when Percy refused Meacham uses three well balanced viewpoints Mary s, Percy s and Rachel s, Mary s great niece, who must confront Percy when she discovers some disquieting family information after Mary dies A refreshingly nostalgic bouquet of family angst, undying love and if onlys Rate this 5 5 I loved this book and even though it was over 600 pages, I found it very difficult to put down The generational theme of love and extreme loss was mesmerizing I loved the characters, the rich setting in Texas, the whole theme of the book I will be looking for other books by this author. Wow, This book was infuriating, It was sheer stubbornness and my book club that had me sticking it out to the end The characters were just not believable I find it hard to fathom that after Somerset cost Mary the love of her mother and brother, she not only allow it, but encourage it, to cost her the love of her life That she would then groom her grand niece to inherit it, only to pull it out from underneath her The her niece would make all the same mistakes The only likeable characters were Percy and Matt, and even they were not credible Ollie was completely one dimensional and unbelievable No one is that saintly and selfless he was ridiculous And her mother Totally over the top, and not in a good way.I can t believe anyone could compare this to Gone with the Wind comparable to the movie version maybe, but it is nowhere the quality of the book It is no Gone with the Wind Not even a Thornbirds I would compare it to a Harlequin romance.A good editor would have helped too The conversations were repetitive, and the book did not need to be 600 pages long If you like long, epic pointless melodramas with unlikable, unrelatable characters, then this is the book for you. Spanning The Th Century, The Story Of Roses Takes Place In A Small East Texas Town Against The Backdrop Of The Powerful Timber And Cotton Industries, Industries Controlled By The Scions Of The Town S Founding Families Cotton Tycoon Mary Toliver And Timber Magnate Percy Warwick Should Have Married But Unwisely Did Not, And Now Must Deal With The Deceit, Secrets, And Tragedies Of Their Choice And The Loss Of What Might Have Been Not Just For Themselves But For Their Children, And Children S Children With Expert, Unabashed, Big Canvas Storytelling, Roses Covers A Hundred Years, Three Generations Of Texans And The Explosive Combination Of Passion For Work And Longing For Love This book was okay, as long as you overlook all of the bad decisions the characters make throughout Roses has definitely got its share of intrigues, but compared to Somerset it felt a little bit too dragging and too convenient to me. Leila Meacham s novel centers around two rival farming families, and their offspring and the loves and losses of their offspring Though the plot is a heartbreaking one, Meacham goes into so much detail that she leaves very little room for the reader to use his or her own imagination At the same time, she seems to tell the reader how to feel about certain characters and their situations, rather than letting the feelings come naturally She needs to show the interactions of her characters a bit , rather than tell She seems to become so caught up in making sure we know what to think about these characters, that it becomes almost repetitive It is hard to truly get to know them and their personalities The storyline is imaginative, yet in a lot of ways it is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet two landowning, warring families of influence and power, whose offspring fall for one another Yet, the love for their respective homesteads keeps them apart a tragic decision, amongst many others, which each will regret for the rest of their lives The book opens with Mary Toliver selling her beloved plantation, and digresses back to years before, as she remembers the mistakes she has made over the course of her waning life. Let me start off by saying I love Gone With the Wind It s my favorite book, I ve read it countless times, and it was the book that really ignited my love of reading That being said, I was pretty hesitant to read a book that was being hailed as the new Gone With the Wind I put it out there to my fellow bookworms and everyone said it was great, so I decided to give it a shot and that cover, gorgeous right I actually really ended up liking the book It started to drag a little towards the end, but I m really glad I gave it a chance I liked how the story spanned over different generations, I liked the characters, overall I really enjoyed the book.Here s my complaint though it shouldn t have tried to mirror GWTW so much The main character is a strong woman with black hair, green eyes, a dimple, who is obsessed with her family land over everything else SOUND FAMILIAR Man alive, couldn t she have at least looked different than Scarlett Still a solid 4 stars, but c mon I really liked this book There were only a few similarities to Gone with the Wind, such as, the main character lives on a cotton farm and has black hair and green eyes That s pretty much it.The book is divided into three parts telling the stories of three different characters, Mary, Percy and Rachel After Mary s father dies leaving her the family cotton plantation and almost nothing to her mother and brother, her family is torn apart by resentment Her father knew that if he left the plantation that had been in the family for over a century to his wife or son, it would be sold Since Mary refused to go against her father s wishes, her mother and brother hated and resented her for it Mary falls in love with her brother s friend Percy but due to crazy circumstances, ends up marrying their other friend Ollie I won t say what happened since I don t want to give the story away The theme of the book basically tells about the family obsession with their land and the willingness to give up everything else in life in order to keep it Because of this, the family has been cursed for over a century Rachel is Mary s great niece who has been raised to take over the family plantation In the first chapter of the book, you find out that Mary decides at the last minute to change her will and not leave it to Rachel in order to spare her from the family curse Before Mary can relate the reasons why she did it, she dies Throughout the book you find out what happened to Mary, what the family curse is, and the aftermath of Mary s death as Rachel and her family find out that she doesn t inherit the plantation. Three families migrated west to eastern Texas and founded the small town of Howbutker how about here they said the Tolivers descended from the Lancasters , the Warwicks descended from the House of York as well as the DuMonts of French descent Friends for generations, most disagreements were settled by the offering of a red rose to offer apology and a white to acknowledge forgiveness As the story begins, Mary Toliver Dumont has only weeks to live and reflects back on her life and how it was irrevocably changed when her father left their cotton farm, Somerset, to a very young Mary instead of her mother and brother Mary loves the farm with the same passion her father had but is there room in her life for both Somerset and the devilishly handsome Percy Warwick Misunderstandings are front and center and the worst one of all comes when Mary is left between a rock and a hard place forcing her to a decision that will have ramifications on all three families for several generations to come The secrets continue after Mary s death no spoilers here, we know this will happen in the first few chapters as an unexpected codicil to Mary s will sends her great niece Rachel spiraling in shock and anger that only increases when she finds the secret that Mary has kept all these years Now hell bent for revenge against the Warwicks, Rachel is willing to risk it all even though it could cost her the only man she will ever love and her last chance at happiness.I liked this book a lot and had a hard time putting it down, and blew through it in two days Yes it s big, it s sprawling sometimes it sprawls too much and very soap opera ish, but I love those kind of books I didn t connect as much with Rachel s story as I did with Mary and Percy sigh..what a man and I felt the last third of the book suffered a bit because of that My only other quibble and it s probably just me, but when I heard the Wars of the Roses connections of the families I was hoping for a good parallel between the two as Susan Howatch has done with the Plantagenets in Cashelmara and Penmarric That book would have rocked my socks off As it is, it s a very enjoyable and very readable novel Four stars. i thought this book was the cause of so many butterflies and alsoso many outbursts i enjoyed every character, every paragraph, every chapter, such a great read. So my friend called me a book snob and I think she is right I really tried with this book I read it all the way through when there were interesting books calling out my name, but I could not really find anything in it that I liked.A big, sweeping, overly dramatic saga straight out of the Gone With the Wind playbook, Roses is the story of Texas tycoons, plantations, birthrights, love, and secrets Everything you would expect to find in this genre of book is there, and All the characters are cardboard cut outs, the dialogue is full of cliches, and the story is completely predictable.I folded down a page which had an example of the overblown writing and to my surprise, found that the very same paragraph is on the back cover of the book Here is a small sample No way in tarnation would she sacrifice Somerset for the sake of male pride Butshe loved Percy He was a thorn in her side she couldn t pull out, no matter how hard she tried.