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Jennie is a charming young lady, spending her days working at the local library, reading, and snuggling with her cat. Her life is turned upside down when she takes a shortcut through the cemetery one evening after work, stumbling upon a fantastic world of fairies and surreal red roses. Luckily for Jennie, she has an open mind about such strange occurrences, unlike her coworkers at the library. Because of her acceptance of the mystical world, the beautiful roses appear to her, and not to her coworkers, so Jennie is able to appreciate the beauty of the winter roses. She is also able to appreciate the beauty of the young man with red hair, who is he and what will his relationship with Jennie turn into?
I want to just briefly mention, in a little more detail, the man with the red hair. I won’t give too much away, as he is a really mysterious and alluring character in the story, but there is one aspect of his being that I want to mention. This man with the red hair is confined to a wheelchair; the author makes that clear right when Jennie first lays eyes on him. Yet despite the fact that this character is confined to a wheelchair, he still has godly good looks and is remarkably strong, not the impression usually portrayed for characters wheelchair bound. I thought the wheelchair aspect was an incredibly well done part of this book; the godly man has a flaw, that he is confined to a wheelchair, yet despite that he still is a godly man; definitely a well done character on the part of Intrandescence/Peterson.
The plot in this book is really captivating. “Winter Roses Never Die” starts out with Jennie taking her trip through the cemetery, quickly hearing some beautiful music and stumbling across some flitting shapes in the dark. I have to admit that the opening scene set my heart pounding and set a good mysterious mood for the rest of the book. Jennie continues to take trips to the cemetery, meeting a mysterious man along the way, furthering the plot at a steady pace as the story continued.
The characters in this book were all fully charming. Jennie, the main character, is lovable and easy to relate to. Her emotions, for the most part, seemed incredibly genuine. There were a couple parts where I personally would have run away screaming (mostly when she’s talking to the man with the red hair), but Jennie holds strong. I couldn’t decide if that was because she was just a character in a book (and thus under no real threat) or whether it was because she was a very strong character, we’ll just go with her being a strong, young woman.
The illustrations in this book were all really enjoyable to look at. There are a few illustrations at the beginning of each book and then one at the beginning of each chapter. The illustrations add a good visual aspect, allowing the reader to be shown exactly what the author had in mind for the visuals of the story. The illustrations are obviously digitally done, but they don’t look cheap or simple. They’re complex and fascinating to look at, bringing to mind traditional paintings of mythical landscapes.
Intrandescence/Peterson writes in a style that is really pleasant to read. She writes in a manner that is beautifully descriptive, without being cloying or overbearing. The descriptions of the statues and flowers were so vivid that I was able to clearly picture them in my mind, with all their detail. She also writes dialogue really well. All of the dialogue in this book was written clearly and very easy to follow; it was also all very realistic. It was easy to picture the characters in my head as they conversed with one another.
The final thing I should mention is the romance aspect of this book. I’m not normally a fan of romance in the books I read, in fact, I find that I’m rather averse to the whole idea of romance in a story. Yet with this book, I found that I didn’t really mind the romance. The relationships between characters were mysterious enough and slow enough to develop that I didn’t find myself shying away in awkwardness and actually found myself captivated by the relationships.
I would give this book 4 out of 4 stars due to the enchanting storyline, the realistic characters, and the philosophy. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in books that deal with the mystical (i.e. fairies) yet have philosophical undertones. This is definitely one of those books that can be enjoyed by many, not just a few whom have specific interests in this type of story.
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