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In a corner of south-western France, a young rose grower nurtures a private passion to breed an exotic new flower. But the year is 1789, and the world is about to change...The Rose Grower throws a subtle, slanting light on the underside of history, as a young woman and her family are caught up in the bloodthirsty years of the French Revolution. Her private passion is to create a repeat-flowering crimson rose, the first of its kind in Europe. But, as public events in Paris are duplicated in Gascony, her world turns upside down. An American balloonist falls out of the sky and into her life; while Joseph, a young working-class doctor, is also drawn into her orbit, and finds himself fatally torn between reason and desire, revolutionary zeal and unrequited love.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099284055
ISBN-10: 0099284057
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 20mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » 1789. The St Pierres are not against social change. They admire Voltaire and Rousseau, and think the poor ill used. When a US balloonist drops from the sky the comfortable peace of their Gascony home is shattered. With him comes passionate love, sacrifice, personal vendetta, fear, cowardice and real and bloody revolution spreading from Paris to provincial France. Amid national chaos young Sophie St Pierre is obsessed by her hope of growing a perfect crimson rose. In a first novel that is both botanically and historically well researched and elegantly written, de Kretser draws a subtle picture of individual lives pierced by violence and tragedy in a framework of bourgeois French life so evocative you can smell the garlic and roses.1789. The St Pierres are not against social change. They admire Voltaire and Rousseau, and think the poor ill used. When a US balloonist drops from the sky the comfortable peace of their Gascony home is shattered. With him comes passionate love, sacrifice, personal vendetta, fear, cowardice and real, and bloody revolution spreading from Paris to provincial France. Amid national chaos young Sophie St Pierre is obsessed by her hope of growing a perfect crimson rose. In a first novel that is both botanically and historically well researched and elegantly written, de Kretser draws a subtle picture of individual lives pierced by violence and tragedy in a framework of bourgeois French life so evocative you can smell the garlic and roses. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Michelle De Kretser

Michelle de Kretser was born in Sri Lanka and migrated to Australia with her family in 1972. She has taught English at the University of Melbourne, as well as working as an editor and book reviewer. Her novels have been published across the world and translated into several languages. The Hamilton Case won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for South-East Asia and the Pacific, the Encore Award and the Tasmania Pacific Prize for Australian and New Zealand fiction. She lives in Melbourne.

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