In Search of the Rose Notes

In Search of the Rose Notes : A Novel

3.28 (1,289 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
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"A very clever wordsmith."
--New York Times Book Review

"When Emily Arsenault was growing up, a teacher told the fifth-grader she was very good at writing. Give that teacher an A."
--Hartford Courant

Emily Arsenault's compelling debut, Broken Teaglass, was resoundingly praised ("Quirky and inventive...meets all the definitions of a good read."--Richmond Times-Dispatch). With her intelligent, complex, and ingeniously crafted sophomore offering, In Search of the Rose Notes, Arsenault validates her standing as an exhilarating new voice in contemporary fiction. A moody and engrossing mystery, In Search of the Rose Notes follows two best friends from childhood who once unsuccessfully investigated the disappearance of their teenage babysitter, and now, in their twenties, attempt once again to uncover the truth. Readers who love the literary, female focused mysteries of Laura Lippman, Tana French, and Jennifer McMahon will be thrilled to add Emily Arsenault to their must-read lists.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 202 x 136 x 24mm | 290g
  • Avon Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0062012320
  • 9780062012326
  • 977,120

Back cover copy

Eleven-year-olds Nora and Charlotte were best friends. When their teenage babysitter, Rose, disappeared under mysterious circumstances, the girls decided to "investigate." But their search--aided by paranormal theories and techniques gleaned from old Time-Life books--went nowhere.

Years later, Nora, now in her late twenties, is drawn back to her old neighborhood--and to her estranged friend--when Rose's remains are finally discovered. Upset over their earlier failure to solve the possible murder, Charlotte is adamant that they join forces and try again. But Nora was the last known person to see Rose alive, and she's not ready to revisit her troubled adolescence and the events surrounding the disappearance--or face the disturbing secrets that are already beginning to reemerge.
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Review quote

Emily Arsenault's absorbing second book, "In Search of the Rose Notes," is at least as much a novel as a detective story.... Ms. Arsenault here reveals strange truths beneath everyday surfaces and shows that truth sometimes isn't all that strange.--Wall Street Journal
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Rating details

1,289 ratings
3.28 out of 5 stars
5 9% (120)
4 30% (391)
3 42% (544)
2 15% (194)
1 3% (40)

Our customer reviews

Nora and Charlotte were best friends until their babysitter Rose disappears when they are eleven. Failing to find any clues using psychic means, the girls drift apart. When Rose's body is discovered 15 years later, Nora and Charlotte meet up again to go over the case. Nora is a reluctant participant as doing this involves facing the troubles she went through as a teenager. As the main character, Nora is difficult to understand at times. She seems to really struggle with her emotions, and her actions. She often seems to want to do something, but holds herself back. Her internal dialogue is very real, filled with self-doubt and a lack of confidence. Most of Nora's story is revealed through her interactions with the other characters, and the conversations they have. At no point is Nora's full history simply revealed, instead, the reader is introduced to it one piece at a time. While this works in some spots, it seems annoying at others as the reader is left wondering what they are missing. I didn't care for Charlotte's character. She came across as a bossy, spoiled kid who grew up without ever maturing out of that stage. As an adult, she is a high school teacher, but she doesn't seem to enjoy her job very much. She talks down about it, and seems to make fun of her students and their abilities. Definitely not how I would want my high school teachers to have acted like. The book has a sad and tragic ending, however it is a beautiful story. The language flows very well, and the reader is drawn along Nora's journey. And it really is more about Nora's journey than about what happened to Rose, or anybody more
by Sarah Merchant
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