Sunday, May 18, 2014

An East Texas Gone with the Wind

by Leila Meacham
Recently I posted a review of a book similar to my second favorite book Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier. The title of this 2014 homage is Alena. It was written by Rachel Pastan. You can read my review here. As you noticed I stated Rebecca is my second favorite book. Today I am reviewing a book written in 2010 by Leila Meacham, Roses. If Alena can be compared to Rebecca, then Roses most definitely is a Texas based Gone with the Wind.

The story takes place in the fictional East Texas town of Howbutker, in the Piney Woods. Covering a span of one hundred years in the lives of the families in the powerful timber and cotton industries, Roses intertwines the lives of these founding families with all aspects of a soap opera. The saga begins in recent times, remember the book was written in 2010. The use of a cassette recorder in one section eludes to a time period a little earlier than the then present. It is masterfully told in flashbacks through the character's stories, beginning with Mary's, then Percy's, and finally with Rachel's. Reading the details from each of the character's perspective is ingenious.

Meacham's new book, Somerset, published in 2014 is the prequel to Roses. Initially I thought about reading it first, but decided to wait. I will now start this new book which tells the story of the Tolivers, Warwicks, and DuMonts as they leave South Carolina and make their way to the what will become Howbutker, Texas. I look forward to the back story of these three families I came to love.