Thursday, 14 June 2012

Review - "Wild Rose" by Pauline Donaldson

Publisher: Self (Xlibris)
Year:  2010
Price in sterling:  £13.99
348 pages
ISBN:  978-14568-0918-8

Set in 15th century, “Wild Rose” tells the story of a young woman named Alice who lives a lonely existence in the wilds of the Yorkshire, far away from the “War of the Roses” which has turned families against families.  Her life changes forever when, one day at the side of a country track, she finds a baby beside the dead body of her mother.  Alice takes the baby to save it from death, naming her Cissy.  She takes the child on as her own, but confides in a local clergyman and he begins to make discreet enquiries to determine if anyone has been searching for a missing child.

A Baron visits Skipton and comes to the attention of a clergyman who is an acquaintance of Alice.  The child, Cissy, is confirmed as the daughter of the nobleman and so begins a period of upheaval and change which will affect both their lives, forever.


“Wild Rose” is a decent story, but I have to admit that it was not to my taste.  The tale is aimed at a female market, so the reading experience was a challenge.  However, I can be objective about it and I believe my female followers would thoroughly enjoy the book.

Donaldson manages to create characters with a strong moral foundation and her knowledge of Yorkshire and the time period is exceptional.  The plot is evenly-paced and it is quite an easy read, so you can pick it up and jump straight back in without really having to try and remember what has happened before.  I do, however, have one criticism.  In my opinion, all the characters were too nice.  There didn’t seem to be an overhanging sense of drama but instead the emotions and intricacies of the characters drove the story along.  It is not often that such a bold step is taken and, even though it did not appeal to me personally, I can appreciate the skill of the writer and her reasons for doing so.

The only negative point I would make, would be to suggest the author engages the services of a copy-editor.  I found several typos and, in parts, passages were over-written.  Of course, many readers will agree that this can happen in books released by mainstream publishers.  I only make the point to encourage the author to improve the book and I have no doubt that she has the skill to do so.

I have given “Wild Rose” 4 Crosses and congratulate Pauline Donaldson for producing a unique and extremely engaging novel. 


  1. So true what you said about engaging an editor. Its invaluable to any writer who wants to produce good quality work. Good review Stewart.

  2. Great review! And I second or is it, third the motion that editors are very important.

  3. What do you mean by targeted at a female market? Do you mean having a heroine or something else?

    And nice review!

  4. What I mean Kavitha is that Pauline's voice and writing style is very feminine and she clearly aims to reach that market. I read books all the time and there are many that appeal to both male and female readers; "Wild Rose" however, is definitely a book for female readers.

    Thanks for the comment, I appreciate your kind words.