Dec 8, 2015

Australia Days Double Book Review: What Rosie Found Next by Helen J Rolfe

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Review by Suze

Rosie combines her new job with house sitting. She temporarily moves to Magnolia Creek and instantly falls in love with the area. Rosie has a boyfriend, someone who's safe and secure. She wants a stable, dependable future. Only her boyfriend is working abroad, so her dreams can't come true yet. Rosie expects to be on her own in the house she's supposed to take care of, but Owen, the son of the owners, wants to stay at the house as well. He's searching for something and it's important he's doing that while his parents aren't there.

At first Rosie and Owen don't really get along, but soon they become good friends. Rosie loves her job and her surroundings. She's dreaming about a beautiful house and everything that comes with it. Owen needs to discover what happened in the past, something that has everything to do with him, but he isn't allowed to know what it is. Will both of them find what they are looking for?

What Rosie Found Next is a lovely, sweet story about two people who haven't had the easiest childhoods. Rosie has been through something very sad and she could use some more cheerfulness in her life. Owen loves to travel, he's a free spirit and he's a tough guy who rides a bike. Underneath he has a heart of gold and I immediately liked him very much. Rosie is kind and caring and she has a lot of love to give. I really liked that about her. I enjoyed reading about their friendship and interaction. I love how Helen J Rolfe lets food play a vital part in her stories. What they like and how they prepare it reveals so much about people, about who they are and what's important to them. She uses it to make her characters come to life and it works.

Magnolia Creek is prone to fires. It's a beautiful setting, but the area isn't risk free. It was interesting to read about the firefighters. They're doing such a meaningful and brave job. The story taught me more about what they do and how they do it. Fire plays a key part in the book, something that's being revealed bit by bit. 

For me the best part of this story was the interaction between Rosie and Owen. I read the book in one sitting as I kept being curious. Something else I really enjoyed reading about was Christmas. It was fun to read about the way both Rosie and Owen were celebrating the holiday and even though What Rosie Found Next isn't a Christmas story it definitely has enough Christmas magic in it to make me feel festive. I love Helen J Rolfe's writing. All of her books are amazing and I highly recommend them.


Review by Tanya

What Rosie Found Next is a fantastic book set in Australia during the Christmas period. It was very strange to read about a very hot climate that was used to experience bush fires compared to the cold and often raining that we get here in the UK.

Rosie is a house sitter and just starting a new job in Magnolia Creek house-sitting and working part time in a local hotel that holds weddings. She is slightly unnerved by the prospect as it is in a place that is prone to bush fires and there is a lot of maintenance needed to combat it. She also has other reasons, but it’s a while into the book before you find out why. Whilst house sitting she is surprised with the appearance of Owen Harrison, the son of the couple who owns the house. He is there to try and find what secret his parents are hiding from him.

There is a definite fizz between the characters even though Rosie currently has a boyfriend named Adam. He is overseas working and tends to turn up and unsettle the apple cart at various times. 

I loved how Rosie became so much stronger through the book and started to make decisions for herself. Owen helped her to find her confidence and was there for her in some very dark situations. The other characters in the town, including the owner of a local cafe who serves the most amazing sounding scones, are friendly and caring. It makes the little town sound like an ideal place to live. It all starts to grow on Rosie and she finds herself looking at a dilapidated house with the idea of living there.

The book is very well written with lots of twists and turns and the insight as the onlooker to the full story is great. I certainly enjoyed the story and even though it was a different Christmas the meaning is still there. 

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