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Roses
Leila Meacham
Adult Fiction MEACHAM

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This enthralling stunner, a good old-fashioned read, may herald the overdue return of those delicious doorstop epics from such writers as Barbara Taylor Bradford and Colleen McCullough. Meacham's multigenerational family saga, set in East Texas circa 1914-1985, charts the transformation of Mary Toliver, a wide-eyed 16-year-old heiress, into a calculating cotton plantation queen as hardheaded as Scarlett O'Hara. Her brother, Miles, goes off to WWI, returns home, but then goes back to France to marry Marietta, a French Communist, leaving Mary to deal with their plantation, Somerset, and Darla, their alcoholic mother (who later hangs herself ). Many years later, Mary, now an elderly, terminally ill widow, resolves to defeat the "Toliver Curse" and regrets "selling her soul for Somerset" and giving up her true love, Percy Warwick, the father of their secret child, to marry their friend Ollie DuMont, who helped her save Somerset when Percy refused. Meacham uses three well-balanced viewpoints: Mary's, Percy's and Rachel's, Mary's great-niece, who must confront Percy when she discovers some disquieting family information after Mary dies. A refreshingly nostalgic bouquet of family angst, undying love and "if onlys." (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

It's been almost 30 years since the heyday of giant epics in the grand tradition of Edna Ferber and Barbara Taylor Bradford, but Meacham's debut might bring them back. This story of two founding families in a small East Texas town spans the 20th century. When Mary Toliver inherits her family's cotton plantation, Somerset, in 1916, it tears apart her family; her mother turns to alcohol, and her brother leaves. Mary's obsession with Somerset even causes her to lose the love of her life, timber magnate Percy Warwick. By the time she's 85, Mary is determined that the family curse will not continue and, despite her grandniece's love of Somerset, plans for the plantation to be sold after her death. Mary Toliver and Percy Warwick can't share anything more than friendship, but Mary's actions might allow Rachel to see past Somerset to the man who loves her. Verdict Readers who like an old-fashioned saga will devour this sprawling novel of passion and revenge. Highly recommended.-Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Mary Toliver
Female
Heiress
Hardheaded; calculating; cotton plantation queen; owner of Somerset;.

Percy Warwick
Male
Timber magnate; Mary's true love; refused to help her save Somerset.

Miles Toliver
Male
Mary's brother; after coming home from fighting in World War I he returns to France to marry Marieta; leaves Mary to run the plantation.

Ollie DuMont
Male
Friend of Mary's; married her; helped her save the plantation.

Darla
Female
Mother
Hangs herself.



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