ABOUT THE BOOK:
From the best-selling author of The Elegance of the Hedgehog comes a story about a woman's journey to discover the father she never knew and a love she never thought possible.
Rose has just turned forty when she gets a call from a lawyer asking her to come to Kyoto for the reading of her estranged father's will. And so for the first time in her life she finds herself in Japan, where Paul, her father's assistant, is waiting to greet her.
As Paul guides Rose along a mysterious itinerary designed by her deceased father, her bitterness and anger are soothed by the stones and the trees in the Zen gardens they move through. During their walks, Rose encounters acquaintances of her father--including a potter and poet, an old lady friend, his housekeeper and chauffeur--whose interactions help her to slowly begin to accept a part of herself that she has never before acknowledged.
As the reading of the will gets closer, Rose's father finally, posthumously, opens his heart to his daughter, offering her a poignant understanding of his love and a way to accept all she has lost.
MY REVIEW:A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery, Alison Anderson (Translation) is a 2021 Europa Editions publication.
This lushly written novella length story profiles the reexamination of Rose’s distant and estranged relationship with her father, who has recently passed away. Rose travels to Japan, planning to stay only long enough to discover the contents of her father’s will.
Her host for the duration of her visit is Paul, her father’s assistant. As Paul leads Rose through Japan, her resentfulness towards her father begins to soften, as she examines her own life and tendencies, reflecting on her upbringing and her father’s legacy.
This is a poignant story, mingled with whimsy, and a wry sense of humor. The writing style might not appeal to all readers, as it is ‘flowery’ – quite Literally.
That said, I loved the allusions and allegories, and the writing was fitting complemented the themes of the story.
Overall, this a lovely story, a wondrous journey, and reawakening for Rose, with a hint of a more contented and fulfilled future.