The Missing Rose by Serdar Özkan (Tarcher, 2012, 224pp.)
Diana Oliveira’s mother dies, leaving her a letter which contains some shocking truths: her “dead” father is actually still alive, and she has a twin sister she never knew about. Her mother entreats her (through letters that she wrote while on her deathbed) to seek out this long-lost sister. Diana reluctantly travels to Istanbul, where her sister, Mary, has gone to learn the peculiar “art of hearing roses.”
It’s a pleasant enough story, and although I had trouble getting into it, it really gains substance towards the end and finishes with an ironic twist. The pacing is what weakens it as a piece, forcing the reader to float through a story that never really stops to put down roots in firm reality.
Because of its “yogic” feel, I’d recommend it to those who enjoy Mirti Venyon Reiyas’s Cosmic Library series. I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone looking for a story that gets directly to the point. What little there is of the plot matters less than the message Özkan is sending to the reader. After all, the “art of hearing roses” is really just a metaphor for following your dreams and being true to yourself. A nice parable with interesting things to say, but not for everyone.
Click on cover for image source.