At the beginning of the 20th century, three families
migrated to found a small town in East Texas- Howbutker
(originally pronounced as How-Bout-Cher). The
founding families were the Toliver's, who own a large
cotton plantation; the Warwick's, who went into the lumber
and timber business; and the Dumont's who established a
high-end retail business. These three families and their
descendants were the driving force behind the lifestyles
and livelihoods of their town for decades.
Today, Mary Toliver, the matriarch who brings to mind a
modern-day Scarlett O'Hara in her great love of the land,
is dying, and she is racing against time to make
arrangements and plans for the dispersal and continuation
of her legacy. Mary has learned over the years that not
even once-in-a-lifetime love could replace her heritage
which creates great pain and tragedy in her life.
She hopes to prevent these conditions in generations to
come, namely the life of her great-niece, Rachel Toliver,
the vibrant young beauty who so much resembles her beloved
great-aunt in not only love of land, but in affairs of the
heart as well.
Mary realizes she must break the pattern and prevent Rachel
from making the same mistakes she did, which uncovers the
secrets, the hidden love affairs, and the curses of the
past. But would those she loves understand her motives?
Mary can only hope that an understanding of the past will
bring clarity to the future.
In a saga that spans history from World War I to present
day, ROSES by Leila Meacham, has been compared to Margaret
Mitchell's GONE WITH THE WIND in its expansiveness, its
devotion to familial histories, and Southern panache. But
this novel stands on its own merits as a work of well-
written fiction. Love, heartache, greed, graciousness, and
survival -- it's all here in this fascinating tale.
Meacham's attention to detail and skillful storytelling
makes this novel an absolute joy to savor.
Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes
place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the
powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled
by the scions of the town's founding families.
Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick
should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal
with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and
the loss of what might have been—not just for themselves but
for their children, and children's children. With expert,
unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a
hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive
combination of passion for work and longing for love.