Book Review: The Last Rose by Wendy Clarke

The Last Rose: Stories of family and friendship

The Last Rose by Wendy Clarke
Release Date: 
26th February 2015
Publisher: Cobblestone Walk Publishing
Buy: PaperbackKindle
Rating:
5 star

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The Last Rose’ is a collection of thirteen stories of family and friendship by Wendy Clarke, a regular writer of fiction for national magazines.

All of these stories have previously been published in either ‘The People’s Friend’, ‘Take a Break Fiction Feast’ or ‘Woman’s Weekly’. If you like stories with emotional depth and a satisfying ending, then this collection is for you.

Saying Goodbye to Summer: When Summer leaves for university, Vanessa and Martin look to the future.

Look at Me: Little Natalie has Asperger’s syndrome. It takes a special someone to help show her mother she loves her.

New Beginnings: Angie’s daughter tells her she is coping after the birth of Alex but is she really?

The Toast of Maida Vale: When Margaret sees the face of Jesus on her morning toast, she knows her life will change – but not in the way she is expecting.

Just Maybe: After her second marriage, Kate hopes a holiday in Greece will bond her new family but the cracks soon start to appear.

Links in a Chain: The bond between mother, daughter and granddaughter is more than just the fine gold necklaces they share.

City Skies: Katherine is lonely after she moves from the country to the city to be near her son but finds unexpected friendship.

The Writing on the Wall: The words written beneath stripped wallpaper reveal more than expected.

Feels Like Coming Home: Amelia has made it big as a country singer but the pull of home is strong.

All Our Yesterdays: A balloon ride brings back special memories for Jude and a new hope.

A Growing Family: Thelma’s grandson helps her to see that you don’t need bricks and mortar to house your special memories.

Like Father Like Son: Robert’s family have great plans for him. How can he let them see that his happiness is closer to home?

The Last Rose: The last rose in Ron’s garden symbolises a special friendship.

 

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After enjoying Wendy Clarke’s first collection of short stories, Room in Your Heart, I was really looking forward to getting stuck into The Last Rose. I’d seen some excellent reviews already for Wendy’s stories and I had high expectations for what this collection would offer.
Since I started blogging I have become a firm fan of short stories and The Last Rose definitely ranks up there amongst some of my favourite collections because it was an absolute delight.
The underlying theme that runs throughout almost all of these stories is the importance of family, friendship and love.
Out of the twelve stories included in this collection I can honestly say that I enjoyed each and every one. They were all top-standard, well-written and brilliantly crafted tales that will be sure to melt your heart. A few of these stories in particular turned me into a big, gooey mess (Look at Me which is about a young girl with Aspergers and her mother, and New Beginnings which is about the struggles of a new mother), some made me chuckle (The Toast of Maida Vale) and some really made me stop and think about the bonds that families share and how important they are (A Growing Family and Like Father Like Son). These stories are the perfect distraction from the hectic lives that so many of us lead and are ideal if you’ve only got a short period of time in which to read. You can pick this book up, read a story of two, and return to it when you have the chance, unlike with a full length novel where you might lose track of the story. It’s the perfect book to dip in and out of.
Wendy has an obvious talent for writing short stories. Each one is realistic, the characters are well developed and the endings are always satisfying. The storylines are gripping, most definitely intriguing and I guarantee you will be able to recognise either yourself or others in at least one of the stories included.
The Last Rose will appeal to everyone; mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. If you’re looking to take ten minutes out of your day then look no further than this gentle, warm and all-round lovely collection of stories.
A massive thanks to Wendy for very kindly sending me a copy of The Last Rose to read and review.

 

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Image of Wendy ClarkeWendy Clarke is a full time writer of women’s fiction. She started writing when the primary school she taught in closed down and after completing two creative writing courses, began writing short fiction for magazines. Since then, she has sold nearly a hundred short stories and her work regularly appears in national women’s magazines such as The People’s Friend, Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly. She has also written serials and a number of non-fiction magazine articles.

Wendy lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!

Room in Your Heart is Wendy’s first collection of short stories.

Wendy Clarke  | Website  | Twitter | Goodreads |

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