Hello Everyone! Welcome to my stop today on the Blog Tour for this amazing book, Roses of Marrakech by Rachel Clare and allowing me to share my review with you! First as always a thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to participate and a thank you to Rachel Clare and the publisher for giving me the privilege to read and review this book. Now to find out more about this book…
Roses of Marrakech
Jacques Deschamps/Ivy Fielding
Roses of Marrakech is a breath-taking romantic fiction, set between 1944 and 2016. The story follows 36-year-old primary school teacher, Ivy Fielding, who suffers from a lack of self-esteem due to a facial birthmark. Her great-aunt Rose, who has always been her main source of emotional support, has just died, leaving her a bequest as well as her Lavenham cottage to Ivy and her mother. Ivy discovers tragedies in her family’s past while reading her late great-aunt’s diary, and this inspires her to fulfil a childhood dream and she jets off to Marrakech for the summer holidays.
Set against the backdrop of wartime Suffolk and the present-day spice-scented souks of Morocco, Ivy follows a trail of discovery that will change her life and those around her, forever.
But when uncomfortable secrets of the past begin to surface, can she find the courage to confront them, or is it easier to walk away?
Roses of Marrakech is author Rachel Clare’s debut novel and what an impressive one it is at that! What I loved and found unique about this story is that all though this story is about Ivy Fielding set in 2016, we also get her great-aunt Rose’s story set in the 1940s when Ivy finds Rose’s diary. I honestly struggled to put this book down and was captivated by Ivy & Rose’s stories! I look forward to reading more from Ms. Clare in the future!
Ivy Fielding has suffered from a lack of self-esteem ever since she was a child due to a birthmark on her face. After her great-aunt Rose’s death, she decides at the age of 36 to finally take the trip she’s always dreamed about to Marrakech. As she explores the sights and sounds of Marrakech, she meets an artist who’s on sabbatical from Canada, Jacques Deschamps. As Ivy and Jacques explore Marrakech, their friendship grows into love, but can their love survive when secrets are revealed and both Jacques and Ivy leave Marrakech?
What an absolutely beautiful and captivating story! I am completely and utterly in awe that this is Ms. Clare’s debut novel. From the moment I picked up this book, I felt a connection with the characters and struggled to put it down. Ivy was such a fabulous character, and the connection she had and the loss she felt of her great-aunt Rose is also felt by the reader. As Ivy discovers Rose’s diary, we along with Ivy get to relive the life Rose led, from her childhood to her life during World War II. I felt Ms. Clare did a wonderful job of giving us glimpses of Rose’s life as Ivy reads her diary. When Ivy wasn’t reading the diary, we watched as she explores Marrakech with Jacques and his friends. I loved the storyline in Marrakech, the sights, the sounds, the secrets, and the romance! Jacques was such a wonderful hero and I’ll admit I liked him from the start! It was obvious he was attracted to Ivy from the beginning and I hoped he would be able to get her to overcome her self esteem issues. He was absolutely perfect for Ivy and I felt as a couple they were meant to be together.
Ms. Clare did an amazing job of pulling you into this story with her excellent writing, beautiful scenery and fabulous secondary characters. It’s obvious she has done tremendous research as the vivid sights and sounds of Marrakech come to life for the reader. There was actually a lot going on in this story, with Jacques, Ivy, Rose and some of the secondary characters, but the storyline flowed flawlessly. I was extremely impressed with this author’s debut and look forward to reading more from her in the future!
Rachel gained a BA (Hons) in French/English at Liverpool Hope University and an MA in Modern Languages Research at Lancaster University before training to be a journalist. She now lives in Lancaster and teaches French in a primary school. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was a child and coming runner up in a Sunday Express story competition gave her the confidence to write her first novel, Roses of Marrakech.
Whenever I go on holiday, I always take my notebook with me. Visiting Morocco and Lavenham a few years ago, I made notes of my impressions of the places I visited and began writing the book when I returned”, comments Rachel. “In the book, Ivy’s struggles with coming to terms with her birthmark are based on my own experiences with cerebral palsy, whilst the characters, Violet and Eleanor are based on my great-aunts who both died of TB in the late 1920s”.
Roses of Marrakech – Rachel Clare:
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