06 March 2017

Rose Petal Grave: Blog Tour & Review

Title: Rose Petal Graves
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Publication Date: Mar. 29, 2017
Find: Amazon | Goodreads

Founded two centuries ago by a powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly.

Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.

As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, new people began arriving in Rowan, unnervingly handsome and odd people. I begged them to leave, but they stayed, because their enemies—my ancestors—were beginning to awaken.

Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.

When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).

Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

I trembled as I advanced toward the ring of rowan trees that protected the sacred piece of land in which my ancestors were buried. The cold wind and thick snowflakes stung my cheeks, but cooled the welt the faerie guards had exacted on my hand. I spun around to see if the faeries had remained, but no bodies lit up the cold night. They probably fled back to their island to inform their fellow faes that another hunter had risen.
The wind blew Gwenelda’s waist-long black hair against a long, broad, bare torso that ended in a face so chiseled it looked carved from stone. I trailed my eyes down the man’s chest, over the inked arabesques tattooed on his skin, over the animal-hide loincloth that covered so little of him...

I really do love stories that involve faeries. I always have. And the more complex and multi-faceted my faerie characters are--the better. So, in Rose Petal Graves I love the fact that some of these faeries have questionable morals and loyalties. Until the end, these characters are pretty mysterious.

Catori, the main character, just lost her mother to heart failure. Being a medical student, she questions the validity of this do to the fact that her mother had always been healthy and was pretty young. She's now back at home, preparing for her mother's burial. And they just so happen to live in a cemetery...Her mother having been the caretaker of sorts.
Catori comes home to bury her mom and help take care of her father. But from the beginning she's suspicious of all that's happening; from the man who came to prepare her mother for burial, to the strange relatives that came to her funeral, to the fact that her mother left her an empty coffin in the basement...Well, almost empty. Save for the rose petals.

Catori is not the kind of woman to let all of these things go. It doesn't take long before she figures out that there's a whole world out there that her mother had told her about and she never took seriously.

I loved Catori. I thought she was an excellent, strong character for the most part. There were only a few times when I didn't like how it was made very well known (through dialogue amongst the characters) that Catori was a very tenacious individual, because I feel like it would have been better to show us her stubbornness and tenacity rather that to tell us about it.

The male characters were also, as I said before, very varied. I was never quite sure where we stood with some of them from time to time. But, I think that only added to the suspense of the story.

I'm really excited to read more from Ms. Wildenstein!


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