Skip to main content

Roses have thorns - Book I borrowed from a little free library

While travelling through the city I live, I often came across tiny boxes (similar to bird houses) holding books near a park, residential communities and other public places. Initially, I wasn't aware that they are libraries open to public, until I saw a passerby walk away from it, with a book. They are called little free libraries. 

Little free libraries are small placeholders where anyone can take a book or share a book. It isn't mandatory to leave a book for every book we take. But certain free libraries insist so. In any case, these libraries serve a great purpose, where we can give away the books we no longer need. This helps in improving book access, minimizing book hoarding and lessen wastage wherein we end up throwing books in garbage.  

There are close to 15 little free libraries in our city and it is a well known phenomenon in most of the cities in Canada. Similar public accessible book shelves prevail in other countries under different names like roadside libraries, mini-town squares, free libraries etc. These libraries are gaining momentum in India too, which is a welcome move. 

When I checked the books in one such little free library set up near a park, I found some 20+ titles which are completely new to me (adults + children). Finally after mulling over for the duration I spent in the park, I brought "Roses have thorns" home. Since I wasn't aware of the library at the park, I didn't go prepared (carry a book to drop there). After this episode, I always keep a book I finished in my car to exchange at those tiny knowledge houses.

Coming to Roses have thorns, it is a romantic novel, written by Betty Neels. She was born as Evelyn Jessy Neels in United Kingdom. Under the pen name Betty Neels, she has written more than 134 novels all in the romance genre which were entirely published by Mills & Boon. She was a nurse by profession and started writing in her early 60s and went on to write until she was 90. Apparently most of her novels seem to have medical background, given her field of work. 

Sarah Fletcher is one of the three office clerks working at Professor Radolf Nauta's clinic. Being single and living alone, Sarah's colleagues take her for granted to clock in early everyday and take care of the appointments before Prof Nauta reaches the clinic. Sarah has no qualms and is quite comfortable with this routine. She is orphaned and leads a very simple life with her pet cat Charlie, earning just enough to make the ends meet for both of them. The Professor who is well built and good looking, projects himself as a rude, arrogant and impatient person. But his patients consider him sympathetic and invariably kind, which Sarah cannot confirm given his rude behaviour in all her encounters with him. 

One day, Prof Nauta's mother visits the clinic and finds Sarah suitable to take care of Nauta's dying grand mother (Mevrouw Nauta) at Holland for 2 weeks. Nauta convinces Sarah to assist his grandmother and arranges for leave at her workplace and travel. Sarah reaches Holland and copes up well with Nauta's fiery old grandmother. Sarah spends a great deal of time keeping company with the old lady, reading to her and playing piano whenever she asks for (often at odd hours). During Sarah's stay with the Nauta, Professor visits his family and Sarah finds him to be a totally different person - soft spoken, calm and a loving grandson, a doting son and a down to earth personality. Each time Sarah saw him, she caught herself almost liking him, unsure how the Professor felt about her. Nauta's grandmother dies just days before Sarah has to return to work and Nauta family requests her to stay until the funeral. Sarah writes to her supervisor for leave extension, but unfortunately the letter doesn't get delivered due to postal strike in England (which Sarah is unaware of). 

Upon Sarah's return to work, she was sacked on the grounds of extending her vacation without a prior notice or explanation. Sarah unaware of the letter not getting delivered, expected at least the Professor would have informed the head of the department about Sarah's delay in reporting to work. Sarah was furious that the Professor hasn't kept up his word and has made her lose her only source of income. After losing her job, Sarah applies for many jobs and and finally settles down as a house maid. 

Does Sarah cross her path with Prof Nauta again? Does Prof Nauta have the same feelings for Sarah? Are Sarah and Nauta ever destined to be together? is the rest of the story. Generally, I pick my books by known authors or titles. But, my encounter with this little free library and Betty Neels work is definitely an eye opener. 

Roses have thorns is a very simple, yet a complex love story. Simple by the way the story is told; and complex the way the protagonists handle their emotions and hide their feelings for each other. The characterization of Sarah as an independent and self-respecting woman; Prof Nauta as a very kind, genuine and lovable person, with a rude outward projection (given his past love life, where the girl leaves him); the detailing of every day activities and events; the conversations between the lead characters were so profound and engaging. 

It is a light-hearted and comforting read, often leaving the readers wish Sarah and Nauta break their barriers, pronounce their love for each other and live happily ever after!!!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to read my latest articles!!

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Anex Monkey Smart Watch

Hello Readers,  Welcome back. While browsing through a weekly flyer by Canadian Tire, my eyes got hold of a smart watch, primarily for its name - Monkey Smart Watch. It's original price was $89.99. On account of Father's Day, the price was slashed 70% and offered for just $24.99 (from June 9th to June 16th).  As it was listed on Canadian Tire website, I thought the product should be genuine and googled to know more about the product. But there weren't sufficient reviews online. So I decided to try it myself and booked it online. This smart watch was launched in the last quarter of 2021 as Anex Monkey Smart Watch. Last year, it had been sold for just $19.99 as part of Black Friday deal. Even after 5 days of waiting, Canadian Tire didn't process my order. On the other hand, the stock was vanishing real quick and only 80 watches were available in our near by store. When checked with their customer service executive, I was told to cancel my online order or wait until they p

Are you planning to take CELPIP?

It is a known fact that anyone who aspires to come to Canada on a student visa or as a Permanent Resident has to give an English Test to prove their proficiency. If you are contemplating between IELTS and CELPIP or want to know which test suits you better or looking for some guidance on how to prepare for CELPIP, then read on. This blog is specially curated for you!! ** Long post alert - consider this article as an essay from IELTS / CELPIP reading. Voila, you already started your preparationšŸ‘ IELTS is an English Language Test that is accepted by wider English speaking countries like the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland and hence its reputation amongst the aspiring immigrants. Unlike IELTS, CELPIP is Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), specifically designed to evaluate test takers ability to function in English for Canada's permanent residency, citizenship and professional designation. In the recent times, especially during the pandemic, man

Why I Write - Q&A with Manu

I keep getting direct and indirect questions on Why I Write? There won't be a better occasion than this to address this Q and other frequently asked Qs. It's been exactly 2 years since I started this website -  Manu's Medley  and apparently this is my 100th blog post.  So Why I Write?  I can give a fancier reply stating "I chose to follow my passion". But I won't, as it isn't true. After being in the IT industry for more than a decade, working tirelessly all through the weeks, months and years, I moved to Canada carrying my little one, when the whole world was witnessing one of the deadliest diseases COVID. It was at the same time, I had to take a career break due to few compelling personal reasons and decided to be a full time mom.  It's a new place and a new role, with almost zero support, unlike the support system at India. To top it, the lockdowns and restrictions were never ending. The three of us spent months together within our apartment and my

Recipe: Idiyappam | Sevai | String Hoppers

Idiyappam, is a well known break fast item in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lanka. It is also known as sevai or string hoppers (in English) and is primarily made out of rice floor. Like idli, idiyappam is made through steaming using no oil, making it very easily digestible and light on stomach.  When I think about idiyappam, I remember 2 instances from my childhood. One of my friend's mom, used to feed her 2 year old with different colourful sevais for evening snack - white, yellow, red along with a liquid version of it too, almost 3-4 times in a week. Later I learnt from her elder daughter (my friend) that they are coconut sevai (sweet version), lemon sevai, tomato sevai and rasam sevai. Though born and brought up in Chennai, we aren't much into idiyappams.  I don't remember eating them until I crossed 10 years. Whenever we visit a doctor with fever, our doctor used to give a list of food items - kanji, bread, idli, idiyappam and rasam rice, which I was usually averse to even

Book: Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi is the 3rd book I read this year. The 2nd was Meet Me in Mumbai by Sabina Khan. I have posted its audio synopsis and review on my you tube channel - Our_Bookshelf. It is available in this link . Meanwhile, if you wish to read my latest articles and watch the content I create, follow me on  Instagram  and  Facebook !!  Before The Coffee Gets Cold is the first book as part of the series written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. It was originally a play written in Japanese in 2010 that turned out to be a bit hit. Later it was published as a novel in the same language in the year 2015. Due to its popularity, the book was translated into English. The author published sequels Tales from the Cafe, Before Your Memory Fades, Before We Say Goodbye, Before We Forget Kindness in 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2023 respectively. All except Before We Forget Kindness have been translated into English and the fifth book is expected to be released in English in Nov 2024. When I