Although I think that "Her Name is Rose” had its moments where it became an entertaining, heartening read I was not at all impressed with either the overall story nor the writing of the author. The story itself mostly centers on Iris (the mother) and Rose (the adopted daughter). This is where the story nearly loses me altogether. It is mostly from Iris's own point of view as I found her sections of the story to be depressing. To be quite frank, it was boring. I think one of the reasons is that this novel is entirely centered more on a single, widower’s worries about her child and what will happen to Rose when Iris's passes. I understand such concerns, but the author exaggerates this plot far too much.
Moving on to Rose's own view in the story, I do not think that Iris gave her daughter enough credit. Yes, Rose was adopted, but I found her to be a character that was much stronger and more determine to accept the things in life that Iris was struggling with. Iris lived more in the past than in the future and I think such decisions that were made throughout the book should have been a joint decision rather than Iris' solo reasons to find Rose's birth mother.
For the most part, this book was not a bad read. I just wish there was more of Rose in the actual book. Despite the fact that she was able to tell part of her own story through her own words I feel like Iris just overshadowed Rose in general. I would have much preferred a more delicate balance with still the heart and love that this novel possessed.
Iris Bowen is a young Irish gardener and mother of a beloved adopted daughter, Rose. A recent widow, Iris has spent the last two years concentrating on the day-to-day business of launching Rose into the world. But when she receives some worrisome results on a breast scan, the words of her husband as he was dying of cancer become hauntingly urgent. He had begged Iris to search for Rose's birth mother so that Rose would still have family if anything happened to Iris. Suddenly, Iris fears that Rose really could be left alone.
With no records to guide her beyond a twenty-year-old envelope, Iris impulsively begins a journey into the past that takes her to Boston and back to the west of Ireland, with surprising results for herself, for Rose, and for the others whom their lives touch.
At turns moving and funny, Her Name Is Rose by Christine Breen is a gorgeous and intimate debut novel about what happens when life does not play out the way you expect.