Reviewed by Jenni Cahill
24-year-old Diana Oliveira is bereft when her mother passes away. Not only has she lost the most important person to her, but she has also discovered a long held secret that will change her life forever. Before her death, Diana’s mother tells her about the twin sister Diana never knew existed and how, when they were a year old, Diana and Mary were separated, with Mary being taken by their father, while Diana remained with their mother.
Diana never knew of Mary’s existence until after her mother’s death when she reads the letter her mother left for her. The letter explains their separation and how, a few weeks earlier, Mary had been in touch. But now Mary is missing and, through the letter, Diana’s mother begs her to find her twin sister.
To begin with, Diana is angry and refuses to even attempt to find Mary, until she meets a fortune-telling beggar in the park, who unknowingly sends her on a quest to not only find Mary, but her true self. Travelling from her home in Brazil to Istanbul, Diana finds herself in a beautiful garden being taught to talk to the many roses within it.
The Missing Rose is a charming tale full of mythology, philosophy and a little fairytale magic as Diana sets off on her journey of self-discovery. I would have liked to have read in more depth who Diana was as a person before she set out. I also think the book could have been brought to life with a few descriptions, not only of Diana’s surroundings, but of the people she encountered. My favourite character was the beggar Diana met in the park. He could be abrupt and a bit too mysterious, but I think he had a good heart and he amused me.
Overall, The Missing Rose is a pleasant story of self-discovery, but unfortunately it didn’t grip me.
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