Roses **.* by Leila Meacham
I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where in her words, pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.
and Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. . . the perfect little food corner in blogland.
This book for me is a classic example of “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. The jacket, which is beautiful, also shows this:
I’m sorry to say, that was not the case for me. It’s been compared to Gone with the Wind and The Thornbirds. I really wanted to like this book. I was disappointed and found it hard to finish. I lost interest and for the most part found the characters annoying and family members down right cruel.
“The Warwicks, descended from the House of York, grew only white roses in their gardens, while the Tolivers cultivated exclusively red roses, the symbol of the House of Lancaster.”
“The red and white rose. . .They will be a reminder of my duty to our friendship, to our joint endeavors. And if I should offend you, I will send a red rose to ask for forgiveness. And if I receive one tendered for that purpose, I will return a white rose to say that all is forgiven.”
This multi-generation family saga, involves star-crossed lovers, family secrets, and pride and passion for the land. Three founding families star in this story, that takes place in a small Texas town: the Tolivers, who grow cotton, the Warwicks, who mine timber, and the DuMonts, who sell luxury dry goods.
“It was a well-known fact that while they lived in one another’s pockets socially, they worked and prospered separately. It was a rule established at the beginning that each man’s enterprise must rise and fall by his own merits–without financial aid or assistance from the others.”
Told in three parts, by three characters’ points of view, this tale spans nearly 100 years and begins with Mary Toliver’s story in 1916.
The Toliver’s cotton plantation, Somerset, is bequeathed to Mary by her father at the tender age of 16, alienating her from her older brother’s and her mother’s affections.
There were not a lot of food mentions in the book, here is one with the Toliver’s housekeeper, Sassie and her cinnamon rolls:
Ina Garten Easy Sticky Buns Recipe (masquerading as cinnamon rolls, I left the raisins out of Ina’s recipe and used pecans instead)
And of course, to look like cinnamon rolls, they had to have icing :-)
Icing Recipe Here
I have to admit, these sticky buns were yummy without the icing, if fact, my husband preferred them that way :-)
And another food vignette I stumbled on with Percy and Mary, picnicking on chicken salad and croissants:
Apricot-Almond Chicken Salad
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup halved green grapes
3/4 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain greek-style yogurt
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (I used 1 tsp. for our tastes)
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
Salt and pepper to taste
Stir together mayo, yogurt, ginger, and apricot preserves in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste; add chicken, apricots, celery, grapes, and almonds, tossing gently. Chill until ready to serve.
“The writing of Roses is fraught with problems. First, it is formal and stilted, as though the book were written in the 1950s rather than in 2009. The main characters are sketchily drawn, and Mary, in particular, is as much characterized by her clothes as by her thoughts, which are few.” – The Cleveland Plain Dealer
I’m afraid I tend to agree with this review, rather than those I ran across on Amazon. If you care to, you can read more for yourself, Here.
“Red is to ask forgiveness, white to say forgiveness granted, pink to say forgiveness withheld.”
Be sure to stop by Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday Favorites & Food for Thought to see what everyone is reading and eating.