- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Tarcher; Reprint edition (December 27, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0399162305
- Source: Publisher
When Diana’s mother dies, a letter she wrote on her deathbed reveals a life-altering secret: Diana’s father, thought dead, is actually alive. Additionally, she has a twin sister, Mary, she never knew existed. Her mother’s dying wish is for her to find her sister. While wealthy and head-strong, Diana has always sought out the approval of those around her. Mary has spent a large portion of her life trying to find their mother. Through a series of letters written to her mother, Diana learns of Mary’s art of “hearing roses.” Based on the letters, written using elaborate imagery about this art, Diana is certain Mary is mentally ill. Reluctantly, she travels to Istanbul in an attempt to locate her.
There, she locates the magical garden in which Mary learned her art. In this journey to find her sister, Diana embarks upon her own journey of self-discovery, truly realizing her own self and potential is more valuable and true than the identity imposed by others.
As an international bestseller, published in over 40 languages, this novel had the potential to be something great. Unfortunately, it fell quite short for me. While some of the prose was incredibly beautiful and almost poetic, other segments seemed rudimentary, almost robotic, to me. At first I thought it might be due to a translation error, but the author completed his university education here in the United States. Additionally, the overall storyline was quite formulaic, the characters the only difference than other novels like it.
That said, it is a relatively short read at just over 200 pages. I can concede that perhaps I’m not the right reader for this novel, so I wouldn’t suggest that you not read it. To put it simply, it just wasn’t the right novel for me.