I fell in love with Terrie Todd’s writing in 2020 when I found Bleak Landing somewhere and listened to every word, unable to tear myself away. I quickly went from that book to the next, and to the next. So when Rose Among Thornes was announced, I knew I’d be reading it the moment came out.
I was wrong. For reasons that make NO sense to me, I didn’t touch it until the other day. I made it 15% in, had to take a break because of home stuff, and tonight while I was supposed to be doing taxes, I lost myself in the story again.
I want to say Bleak Landing is still my favorite, but I don’t know. If it is, then it is… but this one is such a close second that you almost can’t tell the difference. And if Rose Among Thornes is my favorite, then Bleak Landing is an incredibly close second, so… yeah. Why?
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What Happens When Injustice Results in Something Beautiful?
Terrie Todd has done it again. A horrible, haunting, yet beautiful tale full of dichotomies. The rich faith shown and the crises of faith experienced practically glow with authenticity.
I love how each “perfect” character… isn’t as well. Rose resists, accepts, and resists again. At times, she seems too good to be true, and at other times, you can’t help but go, “I get you. I totally get you.” Her faith journey is such a rich, wonderful process to live with her. And if all that weren’t enough, her letters fill your heart with hope and joy.
Though Russell endures a crisis of faith, it didn’t occur when expected. Every time I thought he’d collapse, something bolstered it up until he finally quit relying on THE bolster. Watching his journey back to the Lord–so convicting.
War is horrible and ugly, and this book doesn’t hide any of that.
However, Todd is brilliant in showing it without going too far.
Recommended for lovers of WWII fiction, epistolary novels (this one is only semi-epistolary, but there are elements), and fiction full of faith that strengthens your own. Not recommended for readers who like to pretend that “our side” of the war was blameless.
Forgiveness is the deadliest force on earth.
War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes’ sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son.
When Rusty Thorne joins the Canadian Army, he never imagines becoming a Japanese prisoner of war. Inside the camp, the faith his parents instilled is tested like never before. Though he begs God to help him not hate his brutal captors, Rusty can no longer even hear the Japanese language without revulsion. Only his rare letters from home sustain him—especially the brilliant notes from his mother’s charming helper, which the girl signs simply as “Rose.”
Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created?
You can find out more about Terrie Todd at her WEBSITE.
I recommend her other books… Bleak Landing was my favorite.