5 stars for The Rose Guardian

9781988274614LibraryThing Early Reviewers Gives 5 stars to The Rose Guardian

This is a journey of relationships and relativity as told though the eyes of an artist (and authored by an artist of both color and words). It touches on the relationship of the mother to her children and how her pain attacks them, leaving them marked for life also. It reflects upon the influence of childhood on the adults they become and it allows for a quiet escape—at least for one.

This story is layered and beautifully written. The author moves through the ribbons that tie mother to daughter both as a child and after she had grown. Their threads are unusually knotted and nearly strangle both. One breaks through (in part) because of developing a family business, the other breaks free through her art coupled with the courage to look at her mother’s truth.

The writing is absolutely beautiful. The author is especially adept at entering the child’s mind and explaining actions that adults would view as strange. The language, the erroneous definitions and the innocence all transport the reader back to the bewildering time before adulthood. The hurt of being punished because of misunderstandings comes back to the reader—the injustice people visit upon children in the name of “helping them grow-up”. The child’s realization of the end of her own childhood is spot on.

The author uses art to set the daughter on a course of independence. Clearly, the writer is also an artist herself. She understands the paints and the processes, but she also understands the difference between a pretty picture and self-expression. Her main character has reached a level of success by painting what others want to see (mirroring the way she has tried to live the life others expected of her). When she starts to paint “dreams”, she begins her journey to freedom.

It is a triumphant story about a lot of sad people. Triumph does not bring huge changes or any candy coating—it is a realistic and quiet “win”.

Posted on LibraryThing June 26, 2019

Releases August 1, 2019

The Rose Guardian, by Lorina Stephens, releases August 1, 2019 in print and ebook, and is available through Five Rivers, and your favourite online bookseller.


Consumate storyteller, Lorina Stephens, returns with a novel of grief and the power of forgiveness.

There is a conversation that should have happened between Vi Cotter and her mother. Now it’s too late.

But sometimes the dead speak through the legacy they leave, and in this case Vi’s mother bequeaths her, among other things, her journals. Do we sometimes seek absolution from the grave? Do we seek reconciliation between the child, the woman, the crone?

In a story of unspoken truths and hidden fears, The Rose Guardian explores the cages we make when we fail to unlock our secrets.

Pre-order your copy today!