The Wild Roses by D.B. Carter
Today I will be reviewing a brand new book called The Wild Roses by D.B. Carter.
Three friendships torn apart by one chance meeting.
By autumn 1984 Sharon and Pip are in their final years of school and on the verge of adulthood. Best friends for as long as they can remember, the two young women befriend their badly bullied schoolmate, Gavin. Their futures are bright until a chance meeting leads to a path of corruption, anger and malicious betrayal. Sometimes, when we can’t rely on those we love, our only hope is in the kindness of strangers.
All three teens are driven from their homes to follow very different paths. They face dark times of heartbreak and new temptations.
But there may be ways out and better futures, if they are willing to take risks. What will they choose, and will they ever see each other again?
The Wild Roses is a coming-of-age drama for all ages that speaks honestly of love, loss, jealousy, coercion and self-discovery.
My Review of The Wild Roses
Back in July of this year, I reviewed a book called The Cherries by this author. It was a debut novel and one of my favourite reads from this year. When I heard that D.B. Carter has published a new novel I cast aside my huge TBR list and sat down to read it…immediately!
The Wild Roses is the story of teenagers Pip and Sharon who have been friends for the whole of their lives. Their friendship becomes divided when they begin relationships with men who possess questionable qualities. Sharon then betrays Pip in a dramatic and cruel way, which has catastrophic repercussions.
I loved the relationship between Pip and her grandparents. She helped to tend her grandfather’s roses and a deep love of the plants stayed with Pip forever. Another constant in her life was an old school friend Gavin. Sharon and Pip rescued him from the cruel bullies who used to taunt him during lunch breaks. Gavin never forgot the kindness and dedicated himself to protecting the girls.
The book is set in the 1980s and it is filled with references to that era. I was transported back to that time remembering Gary Numan, the Care Bears, and Airfix models. However they weren’t all good times and prejudice, sexual harassment and illegal drug use are portrayed extremely accurately.
It may be a cliche but you really go on a journey when reading this book. At times I silently screamed at Pip for some of the decisions she made but there were uplifting, touching moments too. It was amazing to see the main characters mature into adulthood, sometimes transforming into personalities so different from their former selves. There is tremendous light and shade throughout the storyline and main characters who are multidimensional, vulnerable, damaged and completely real.
I raced through the chapters, unable to rest until I knew how things worked out for Sharon, Pip, and Gavin. The book shows how decisions made as a young adult can shape your life. A wrong path isn’t always permanent and mistakes can be rectified and difficult lessons learned. The story flows brilliantly with writing which is eloquent, emotive and full of suspense.
Of course, being a dog lover I have to mention that a dachshund called Oscar features in the latter part of the book. I loved this addition and the author has portrayed the breed’s inquisitive nature and loyalty to perfection.
This atmospheric book brought back memories. provoked some deep thinking but left me feeling uplifted and eager to read more from this hugely talented author.
D B Carter writes contemporary drama and romance novels, dealing with difficult subjects as well has happier themes. A son of two painters, he grew up surrounded by art and through that world, he met many interesting characters. Later, he ran his own successful company for over 20 years, before taking up his life-long desire to be a writer.
He lives with his wife of 30 years in rural Devon, England. A lifelong bibliophile, he loves reading classical literature, including Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Thomas Hardy and Anthony Trollope; a childhood of Saturday afternoon black-and-white movies added to his appreciation of sagas and drama.
Follow D.B. Carter on Twitter @DBCarterAuthor