THE ROSE GROWER book cover   The Rose Grower
Michelle de Kretser

Design: Greendot. Photo: The Photo Library

Dustjacket synopsis:

"In a remote province of southern France a young woman nutures an ambition to create a repeat-flowering crimson rose, the like of which has never been seen in Europe. Then an American balloonist falls out of the sky and into her life; and the local doctor, who dreams of improving the world, is also drawn into her orbit. A love story begins to unfold against the sensuous green landscape of Gascony.

"But the year is 1789 and public events in Paris are closing in on the private world of the Saint-Pierre family. The Rose Grower throws a slanting light on the underside of history, where people find themselves torn between reason and desire, revolutionary zeal and unrequited passion.

"Seductive, moving and beautifully written, The Rose Grower is a gripping tale of love, roses and the French Revolution."

"...witty, clever and intriguing...wry and humorous...she writes so tenderly of rose growing, and so ironically of revolution..." - Sydney Morning Herald
"...a beautiful piece of work. Behold a canvas crammed with broad streaks and fingerprints of red - of roses, blushes and blood." - The Age
"Deservedly praised...Written with panache and humour...evocative and intelligent." - The Weekend Australian
"Remarkedly detailed, fresh and surprising...a moving yet restrained love story...absorbing and tragic...accessible and compelling." - The Eye

About the Author:

First Paragraph:

On a cloudless summer afternoon in 1789, labourers working in the fields around Montsignac, a village in Gascony, saw a man fall out of the sky.

The balloon had drifted over a wooded ridge and into their valley. The farm-workers, straightening up one by one, shaded their eyes against the dazzle of the sun on crimson and blue silk. The thing hung in the sky - sumptuous, menacing - like a sign from God or the devil.

There waas thunder and fire, and a man plummeting earthwards.

It was the 14th of July. The world was about to change.

From the Vintage paperback edition, 2000.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: September 6, 2001.