3 out of 4 stars
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Rose of the Flats by Dario Addario is a fiction novel. This 646-page book is divided into four parts. It contains the themes of religion, love, war, prejudice, and family.
Dante Valentino is a Korean war veteran. He had defiantly married his sweetheart, Rose, just before he was drafted. They lived in Cascade Flats, a town not far from Berlin. He started writing this manuscript and had been unable to finish it when he was left incapacitated by an accident. His brother, Tony, had taken over the task of completing his manuscript. Tony tells the story of his involvement with Jessica, a prostitute he had met in Louisiana. He also writes about his dream woman, Minnie Birch. She was his English teacher while he was in his senior year in school. She was his perfect American. However, now stuck in the care of his little brother with Rose, feelings he had for her, though buried a long time ago, begin to surface again. Can Tony overcome his prejudice and embrace nature's gift of love?
The writing style and language structure were simple. It contains many subplots well merged in the main plot. It speaks of the racial and religious prejudice prevalent in New Hampshire in the 1900s.
My favorite character was Rose. I love her strength and passion. Her commitment to Dante despite the extent of his needs was intriguing. The book is an eye-opener and makes me appreciate soldiers and their sacrifices. I also like the fact that beyond the stories, the author addressed segregation and racial issues. His perspectives were unique and interesting. My favorite part of the book was when Nick (Rose's brother) and Tony tried to disguise themselves to the two prostitutes they met in Louisiana. It was pretty funny to see Tony struggle to maintain the façade after. I also like the poem Tony wrote to Minnie. It sounded absurd initially, only to read it backward and have it made perfect sense.
However, I discovered the book was repetitive at some times. Many of the stories were repeated, and I felt some parts could have been left out. For example, the play presented by Dante's students did nothing to enhance the whole story. Also, the time frames were not well referenced. I got confused as to the time when some events happened. Therefore, I rate Rose of the Flats 3 out of 4 stars.
The book was well edited, as I found a few errors that didn't hinder my reading experience. I recommend the book to lovers of stories centered on segregation. It will also be a fascinating read for people who enjoy love stories. The book will make you question some of your beliefs.
Rose of the Flats
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