Book Review: A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery

Posted September 10, 2021 by WendyW in Blogging, Bloglinks, Book Review, bookblogger / 6 Comments

A single Rose
A Single Rose
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Muriel Barbery
Publication Date September 28, 2021
Published by Europa Editions
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Genres: Family & Relationships, Fiction, Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Pages: 160
Format: ARC

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 is a beautifully written book about love, forgiveness, and family.  

Rose goes to Kyoto Japan for the reading of her fathers’ will.  A father who left her and her mother when she was just a baby.  A father she had never met and had never received any communications from him.  She’s resentful that he never contacted her, especially after her mother died a few years earlier.   

When she arrives in Japan, she meets Paul, her father’s assistant, and he takes her on a tour of the sites and temples around Kyoto.  This tour was pre-arranged by her father and through this tour, Rose learns more about her father and his love of Japan and his philosophies.  She meets several friends of her Father’s and learns more about him, and through them, learns about herself.  

This book is not an easy book to read, as it’s full of imagery and beautiful description.  But, it’s a wonderful story, set in a beautiful location so it’s worth reading. I did enjoy this book, even when reading through the passages of description slowed me down a bit.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

6 responses to “Book Review: A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery

  1. Hi Wendy! This sounds lovely and I know I will love it. I haven’t read The Elegance of the Hedgehog yet, but hope to one day get to it.

    My husband travels to Japan about twice a year and I went with him once. We’ve been to Kyoto and the gardens truly are beautiful.

    Lovely review Wendy!

    • Thank you Mareli! Japan is a beautiful country. We lived in northern Japan for three years and loved it. I’m so glad you got to go there too.

  2. A Single Rose sounds like a beautiful story. I enjoy descriptive books, especially when they take place in country I’d like to visit. But I can understand how that can sometimes slow the reader down when there’s a lot of information. Thank you for sharing your review!