BOOK TITLE: The Wild Roses
AUTHOR: D.B. Carter
AVAILABLE ON: Amazon
The “Wild Roses” by D.B. Carter, is a coming of age novel that is bittersweet. I remember my teenage years vividly, and D.B. Carter does such an eloquent job reminding us of the feelings, emotions and bonds we feel in our teen years. It is with careful thought, Carter does such an amazing job at bringing us back in time, by reminding us what we are felt as teenagers, and how flippantly we made decisions. This book does a remarkable job setting the time era in the 1980’s which makes us feel what we felt during this time era by mentioning music played in this decade and what high school was like then.
The book is centered around the deep, bonding friendship Carter has created amongst the three teens. Carter creates realistic, life-like characters and the profound effect one decision has on all three by one of the characters, Sharon. She happens to be skipping class and meets an older boy named Sam. Sam has a band and works part-time as a mechanic. The character, Sam becomes involved with Sharon and she finds herself no longer interested in being part of her high school friendships. She begins using her two friendships as a way to see Sam or help herself in some way. Sam, shortly after meeting Sharon decides the band (which Sharon is now a part of), will move to London to keep her relationship with Sam she longs for. This one drastic decision Sharon makes, is made overnight. Carter again displays how easy decisions are at that age in this storyline. Sharon leaves her parents a note and takes off for London without any thought of the ramifications she leaves behind.
The other two characters, Pip, a willful but good girl takes her own path after having a falling out with Gavin caused by her boyfriend,Tom who insists she no longer speak to Gavin. Due to a falling out with her parents, Sharon is behind, Pips trust from her parents is questioned. Pip packs her things to stay with her grandparents. Carter portrays so realistically, emotions we all would feel in this situation, showing Pips hurt and pain from the distrust from those she cares about most.
Meanwhile, Gavin, the high school nerd, bullied on often, finds himself in fear of being beaten by one of his classmates, Gavin finds the strength to stand up to him. Gavin, a very gentle character Carter has created, abhors violence. He is so sad about the decisions Sharon and Pip have made in their respective ways for very different reasons. As the loss sets in, Gavin forces himself to develop his own group of friends. Carter displays well through out this book how quickly life can change and the integral part of those changes. The story unfolds showing the decisions Pip makes from one huge betrayal from Sharon before she leaves. Carter, challenges the delicate trust she once had and does such a realistic job showing how these casualties affect Pip. Sharon’s flippant move break her friends and families hearts, especially with her father. Sharon’s betrayal, also leave behind disruptions for Pip, her family and school.
Sharon leaves the storyline creating mystery and intrigue for us. This book is close to 400 pages and not one of them did I find boring. Carter does an exceptional job showing how our choices, no matter how insignificant they may seem, have a causal effect. We watch as Pip makes her own series of choices and mistakes, and Gavin does the same. Carter’s writes with such understanding how these characters feel or we would in the same situations..
We see futures unfold as these two characters go from teenagers to young adults. Both characters, each caring individuals, find mistakes have consequences. Throughout this book, the weaknesses and strengths of each character are portrayed by Carter, and the author does an incredible job as both characters experiences show how they arrive to adulthood, and how they are feeling along the way. There are several points in this book that caused me to tear up, laugh aloud, and feel the losses and gains of each of these characters and consequences in life unfolds for both. As time continues, we watch trials and tribulations from Carter’s perspective, that remind us of how life is a series of outcomes based on the choices we make.
Ultimately, there is a happy ending for two of the characters, but unfortunately not all of them. The book, “The Wild Roses” is titled this based on an an old man, and his wife’s writings who passed away. This is a house cleaning client Pip meets and befriends when she begins to take care of his home. We see Pip growing as an individual in her kindness and strength, developed from the mistakes she made as a teen. Carter does a brilliant job showing how the bad choices of one girl can bring out her kindness, Pip, while another’s bad choices bring out bitterness and hate in Sharon.
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