"THE MISSING ROSE," by Serdar Ozkan, translated by Angela Roome, Tarcher/Penguin, $14.95, 210 pages (f)
Author Serdar Ozkan's debut novel “The Missing Rose” explores how far a person will go to discover their identity and purpose in this life.
The story centers on a young woman, Diana Oliveira, who has overwhelming desires for others' approval and admiration in her life. This has caused her to abandon her true passion of writing as she willingly alters her own life according to the opinions and direction of others. Upon the death of her mother, Diana is given four letters from a twin sister she never knew she had. Her mother also writes to her daughter and explains the situation and why Diana never knew about her twin.
After much soul-searching and meeting a beggar-fortune teller and an artist along the beach, Diana decides to go search for her twin. This leads her to an inner struggle to rediscover her own identity. Her twin’s letters eventually lead her to a garden in Istanbul where a mysterious gardener teaches her how to speak to roses. These lessons teach Diana about herself, her life and the purpose of the soul.
The book does contain mild language — a few swear words — and does contain scenes of mild alcohol use which may be inappropriate for younger readers. Although the concept of the book has potential, there were times where the plot was difficult to follow.
The author does attempt to paint a picturesque masterpiece by weaving fairy tale concepts into the novel, which ultimately ends up hurting the book more than helping. While thought-provoking in looking at life's influences, “The Missing Rose” tries too hard to lull the reader in with a basic and stereotypical plotline, all the time leaving the reader knowing what’s going to happen before the author tells, or with more questions than before.
Micah Klug graduated with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She currently resides in Rexburg, Idaho, with her husband and daughter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org