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1895. Hampstead, London.
Olive Westallen lives a privileged life in her family’s West Hampstead home, but a lonely one. At twenty-eight she is now considered far too old to marry, but Olive is determined to count her blessings, not weep over those that have passed her by. She has radical plans for the future of the Westallen family – plans that will shock the high-society world she inhabits.
London is an exciting new playground to explore for twelve-year-old Ottilie Finch. Her family have recently arrived from Durham, under the cloud of a scandal that Otty is blissfully unaware of. She is in love with London Zoo, the stately homes, the heath . . . and the canals, with their horse-drawn barges and busy bustle at all hours. The only shadow over her days is the mysterious illness of her mother, which keeps Mrs Finch to her room, away from all company.
For eighteen-year-old Mabs, life on the canal is far from exotic: it is a daily grind, where she risks life and limb to take home a meagre pay packet to her widowed father, and her little brothers and sisters. So when she is offered the role of housemaid to the Finches in their grand Hampstead house, it seems like the ticket to a better life. Little does she know that not all is all as picture-perfect as it seems. Mabs is about to become tangled in the secrets that chased the Finches from their last home, and stuck in an impossible dilemma . . .
The Rose Garden is an absorbing and moving novel, perfect for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Lucinda Riley and Rachel Hore.
Praise for The Rose Garden
'A warm, original and upbeat novel. Tracy Rees is a natural storyteller and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I loved the setting of Victorian Hampstead and its vivid range of characters. What a treat it is!' - Rachel Hore
'Tracy Rees has a rare gift for creating characters you are rooting for from the first page. The writing is fresh and engaging, with a gentle humour... the research is meticulous, and the women’s stories are told with immense compassion. This is a novel that immerses you in its world as if by magic, and keeps you enthralled till the very end.' - Gill Paul
'A rich historical drama that is both a subtle study of the treatment of women and an entertaining escape. Pure joy.' - Jo Spain
'Such a treat... I loved Tracey’s elegant writing and the vivid and relatable characters, and historically-rich story... Wonderful and uplifting.' - Nicola Cornick
'A truly captivating tale of female friendship, courage and empowerment, all wrapped up in the wonderful escapism of an exquisite period drama.' - Samantha King
Praise for Tracy Rees
'Tracy’s writing is so fresh, original and authentic' - bestselling author Rosanna Ley
'Tracy Rees writes from the heart' - bestselling author Kathryn Hughes
'Tracy Rees is the most outstanding new voice in historical fiction.' - Lucinda Riley, internationally bestselling author of The Seven Sisters series
'Rees has skillfully interwoven all the joy and pain that comes with families, friends and lovers into a multi-layered story that won't let you go. Bittersweet, compelling and utterly engrossing, I couldn't put it down.' - Karen Swan, internationally bestselling author