Who is Iris? She’s the main character in Her Name is Rose. She’s Mrs Bowen, a garden blogger/writer. She’s a bit of a character too. Quirky. Feeds the birds in the morning in her night dress and blue Wellies. She lives in the West of Ireland on an 7 acre site in the middle of a little piece of heaven between the bog and the green cold sea. (Her alter ego lives in Primrose Hill, London where there she dreams about gardens and walks through Regents Park.)
Iris likes to drink a deep fruity red when she’s not gardening, or writing, or mothering.
Iris Bowen is a widow with an adopted daughter named Rose who studies the violin in London at the Royal Academy. Rose’s father, Iris’s husband Luke, is dead. He died two years before the novel begins.
Mother and daughter have had to move on.
Iris discovers she’s been called by her doctor because a routine test showed a disturbance that needs exploration. She panics. What if? What will happen to Rose? If?
Iris believes she has but one choice. To find Rose’s birthmother….
Iris’s Roses by LABrown
It’s a twist on the usual tracing that happens in many stories about adoption. Usually it’s the birthchild who traces her birthmother. Or, the birthmother who searches for the child she placed in adoption. However, in the novel Her Name is Rose of which Iris Bowen is the central character, it’s the adoptive mother who, against all odds, begins a search that will yield results that were not expected or anticipated.
All Iris has to go on is a 20 year old envelope….
Over one long hot blue June in Boston, New York, London, and the west of Ireland, the characters and their stories entwine with life-altering consequences.
Iris’s story is one of hope, about what happens when your life comes to a full stop. It’s about carrying on, about the comfort of strangers and the surprising connections that unite us all. The characters discover they are inextricably linked – like plants in a bed, lines in an architectural sketch, notations in a musical composition.
In New York City, Rowan Blake, bachelor and landscape architect, is on his own journey. He’s on the edge. His life could unravel. He’s arrived at a place where he feels no connection to the world, where the things he’s been working for mean nothing, and where the person who held the most influence over his life, Grandfather Burdoch Emmet, suddenly dies.
In London, Rose, Iris’s daughter, gifted young violinist at The Royal Academy of Music, is coming to terms with the loss of her father. She’s trying to lose herself in music, live between the staves, rise to the impossible demands of a brilliant but irascible teacher in England’s oldest conservatoire. But no matter how she practices it seems she is never good enough. Her teacher hates her, or is he perhaps a little in love with her?
Then there’s Hector Sherr, a jazz pianist from the Berklee College of Music in Boston…. who meets Iris unexpectedly in a guest house on a leafy street in the South End.
An accessible literary novel, Her Name is Rose is told through multiple narratives. It explores the belief that love comes in many shades and hues, and along the spectrum are the sacrifices we make for those we love, which ultimately restore and sustain us.