The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson
Released 30th August 2012
Paperback 416 pages
Every love story has a dangerous twist. Tamia Challey is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible - but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But this choice has dire consequences for all concerned, especially when matters take a tragic turn. Then a stranger arrives in town to sprinkle rose petals in the sea in memory of her lost loved one. This stranger carries with her shocking truths that will change the lives of everyone she meets, and will once again force Tamia to make some devastating choices...
I am a long standing fan of Dorothy Koomson, from The Cupid Effect to My Best Friends Girl to Goodnight Beautiful. Her latest offering, The Rose Petal Beach is in true Dorothy style and did not disappoint one bit.
The story focus’s around Tami, a wife and mother who has a seemingly perfect life – two beautiful children, a stunning home, gorgeous husband, her dream job and a life that she had always dreamed of. Then one day, all that she knows about her life comes crumbling down around her, with dire consequences, where nothing will ever be the same again.
The tale is told from various different angles – Tami, her best friends Mirabella and Beatrix and newcomer Fleur. Mirabella and Beatrix both live in the ‘close’ – Mirabella works with Tami’s husband Scott and Beatrix is like a member of the family and Tami’s oldest friend. And Fleur pops up out of the blue one day, revealing secrets to Tami about one of her best friends, but is it too late to change things?
Tami, like so many of Dorothy’s leading ladies, is a strong, fiery, heroic woman, a true protector to all of those that she loves and someone that I think so many people can relate to. If I were faced with situations like Tami, I would hope that I could be just like her and handle the grief, betrayal and deception with that much dignity.
The Rose Petal Beach does fit into Dorothy’s usual genre of ‘Chick Lit’ but with the fast pace, edge of your seat, page turning, roller coaster that you get from a crime thriller. The chopping and changing from character to character really keeps the story going and left me wanting more after each chapter, I even stayed home on Saturday reading until I had finished the book as I needed to know how it ended!
One thing I love about Dorothy is her ability to create such interesting characters. In this book each of them change, some more dramatically than others, however they are all believable. She develops them over time and in a way that you can believe. Take Scott for example – he starts off as a kid from the wrong sort of background, he grows up and takes a different direction from his family, he is then a loving husband and father who would do anything to make his family happy, he then becomes a career focus, his ego takes over causing his marriage to suffer and the rest you will find out about in the book. Scott goes from one extreme to the other, but I didn’t think at any point that it had been taken too far.
The ending isn’t all happy and jolly, where everyone kisses and makes up, like most chick lit’s, but it is fair to all of the characters. It must have taken a lot of time to decide what to do with each of them, but I think it was fitting and believable.
I cannot recommend this book enough, The Rose Petal Beach is a story that be read by both men and women and I can really see that being made into a TV drama.
I LOVED this book and cannot wait to read more from the lovely Dorothy Koomson.