Friday, June 22, 2018

Blog Tour: Garden of the Blue Roses by Michael Barsa

Author: Michael Barsa
Publisher: Underland Press
Date of publication: April 2018

Ominous, fantastic, and wonderfully malevolent…. I felt the spirits of Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Albert Camus’ Meursault, whispering to join the fun.”– ALICE SEBOLD, #1 best-selling and award-winning author of The Lovely Bones

A car lies at the bottom of an icy ravine. Slumped over the steering wheel, dead, is the most critically acclaimed horror writer of his time. Was it an accident? His son Milo doesn’t care. For the first time in his life, he’s free. No more nightmarish readings, spooky animal rites, or moonlit visions of his father in the woods with a notebook and vampire make-up.

Or so he thinks.

Milo settles into a quiet routine–constructing model Greek warships and at last building a relationship with his sister Klara, who’s home after a failed marriage and brief career as an English teacher. Then Klara hires a gardener to breathe new life into their overgrown estate. There’s something odd about him–something eerily reminiscent of their father’s most violent villain. Or is Milo imagining things? He’s not sure. That all changes the day the gardener discovers something startling in the woods. Suddenly Milo is fighting for his life, forced to confront the power of fictional identity as he uncovers the shocking truth about his own dysfunctional family–and the supposed accident that claimed his parents’ lives.

It's been a while since I have read a Gothic story.  I was intrigued by the synopsis for The Garden of Blue Roses.  After finishing it, I am not sure whether I loved it or not. I'll say I fall somewhere in the middle between love and hate.

 I will admit to having been confused as to what was happening through most of the story.   I chalk that up to Milo being a very unreliable narrator.  Since the entire story is told through his perspective, I was left to muddle through along with him.  At about the 2/3 mark, I finally started "getting it".  There were a few disturbing revelations that made the events make sense.  I also did like the ending.   
I think Gothic story fans will enjoy this book..  It did have a dark and creepy feel most times.  I also got the sense that it could take place at any time period since the house seems to be stuck in time.  Do they make rotary phones anymore? I'm not sure this book was totally for me, but I was glad I tried it out.  I think it was a well written debut and I look forward to more from this author.

Purchase Links

About Michael Barsa

Michael Barsa grew up in a German-speaking household in New Jersey and spoke no English until he went to school. So began an epic struggle to master the American “R” and a lifelong fascination with language. He’s lived on three continents and spent many summers in southern Germany and southern Vermont.

He’s worked as an award-winning grant writer, an English teacher, and an environmental lawyer. He now teaches environmental and natural resources law. His scholarly articles have appeared in several major law reviews, and his writing on environmental policy has appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times. His short fiction has appeared in Sequoia.

The Garden of Blue Roses is his first novel.

Connect with Michael

Michael Barsa’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, May 29th: SJ2B House of Books
Monday, June 4th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, June 5th: Sweet Southern Home
Wednesday, June 6th: Write Read Life
Monday, June 11th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, June 13th: @ladyofthelibrary
Thursday, June 14th: Broken Teepee
Monday, June 18th: Midwest Ladies Who Lit
Friday, June 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 25th: @tbretc
Wednesday, June 27th: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, July 3rd: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, July 5th: Katy’s Library and @katyslibrary
Monday, July 9th: Patricia’s Wisdom

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour.