Online Reviews - Wild Rose

Reviewed by: Reviews from readers around the internet

Amazon Reviews:

"A good, quick, fun read. The only thing that I really disliked was the ending - I prefer a story to be wrapped up! All in all the story gives a pretty good idea of what life was like, especially for women, back in the day." - Gramsie

"Sharon Butala is one of my favourite writers. Truly. Because she goes deep into the human psyche to excavate what most of us refuse to see, feel and touch within ourselves. I aspire to write the kind of story Sharon has written here. A story from a woman’s interior perspective. And that’s a rare thing! I hope it will become less rare as human beings wake up to the power of truth in a woman’s experience. Sharon has the heart-full insight of a spiritual master, the skill of a powerful storyteller and the wicked wisdom of a woman who has lived life awake. She is in possession of great talent and I pray for more stories written by her because my soul thrives in the worlds she creates on the page. I was born and raised on the prairie. This is a beloved book that I’ll always treasure. I’ve sent copies to my mother and my sister who still live on the prairie. My hope is that millions of women find this book and luxuriate in the feminine voice recovering our lost herstory. Thank you, Sharon Butala, for serving womankind!" - Magdalen Bowyer

Goodreads Reviews:

"'Wild Rose' is a richly-layered historical novel and a most satisfying read. Sharon Butala knows the prairie landscape intimately and evokes its haunting beauty over all seasons. Isolated on a subsistence homestead Sophie, the young woman in 'Wild Rose', is surrounded by prairie. "Nothing, nothing to be seen for miles in any direction: only grass and more grass, hills and more low softly sloping hills repeating themselves until they reach the far, light-filled, wavering horizon." Sophie learns to appreciate both the subtle charms and the indifferent cruelty of this sparse, untamed world.
The book begins as Sophie endures several days alone with her young child, slowly coming to realize that her husband has abandoned her on their meager farm with no way to seek help. But worse, a man finally appears on horseback to claim everything she has sweated to build over the past four years: house, barn, cows, garden, 60 acres of crop. Her husband has sold the homestead, disappeared with another woman and left her and their son completely destitute.
Butala writes convincingly of the Sophie's internal tumult as she struggles to come to terms with her harsh reality so far from the romantic hopes of her privileged Quebec childhood. This is a story about growing up and finding internal strength. 
What makes this book remarkable is the way Butala layers episodes from Sophie's childhood, the intense love with her new husband, the pain of the present betrayal and her determination to rebuild her life and make a future for her child. One painful insight at a time, Sophie slowly reframes religion, trust, love and the meaning of life.
Convincing historical details absorb the reader into the reality of prairie homesteading in the 1880's. At the same time Sophie's drive to become a strong, self-sufficient woman will resonate with modern readers. It certainly did with me." - Anne Patton

"Very well written story about a couple who move West from Québec for the free land in the 1880's. Life on the prairie is hard, especially for the women who is used to a life of privilege. Sounds a bit cliché, but it is a decent story." - Mar

"on occasion, one must open one's heart to another's story

be drawn into the anguish, suffering, and character therein

and there is no better author to take you on this journey, than Sharon Butala

heartfelt thanks for a trip into the ancestral origins that many of us share, however remotely" - Steven

"I debated between 3 and 4 stars. I really enjoyed reading it but was disappointed with the ending. It was a book I never would have chosen but liked the characters and the story." - Marla

"The first sentence of this book grabbed my attention and set my anxiety level high. The experience of waiting for a man and anticipating his arrival with all that worry and anxiety is one I am familiar with. The listening, the watching, tension .... so real. I was interested in everything that happened and each decision and step that Sophie took. I could not wait to resume reading after each interruption. 

Sophie experiences what many many women have experienced. She struggles for survival in overwhelming circumstances and gradually achieves agency - (at least as much as any of us have.)

My own Great Grandmother was abandoned by her husband a few years before the setting of this book. She and her 4 children were each sent to a different relative to be a house servant. Even the littlest one doing heavy heavy lifting. So, Sophie's experience is very real and seems to be a specific example of common circumstance of the abuse of women. 

One of my favourite aspects to this novel is the way the author has woven the geography of the location into the story. The descriptions of the land, the wind, the sky, the winter, the grass, the wild roses, the wild animals and the bones are immediate and yet poetic. When I first travelled through the country in question I thought that people living under such a sky must be different than everyone else because it is so overwhelmingly awesome. I still think that.

I appreciated Sophie's attention to her son. Some books have Mother-child relationships in them and the Mom goes off and does a bunch of things without making provision for the child. So nerve wracking for a reader! In this book Sophie is constantly taking care of her son and making sure he has a safe and caring baby sitter. What a relief! 

I think that this is a perfect creation in every way. I would not suggest any changes to it at all. 

I would have maybe like to know a little bit more about Charlie's personality as the little guys are so interesting." - Linda Munroe

"Ahhhhh...
I'm a big fan of Sharon Butala's work and just loved this one.
The evocation of the prairie...the land is always such a strong presence in Butala's work.
I loved curling up as the snow blew around outside and tripping back in time with Sophie.
I adore her...wildness.
A great read." - Pam Bustin

"Great, easy read. The story line was different and kept me engaged." - Sheila Noftall

"A look at Canadian pioneer life on the prairies from a woman's perspective. Though fictional, it seemed true to life. Just when I was about to judge it a mere fluffy romance, Ms Butala gave me a reason to keep reading - thoroughly enjoyable." - Janet Fraser

"A glimpse of the life many pioneer women probably found themselves in as dreams of the west and free land were shattered. Very descriptive. I like Sharon Butala's writing, a Canadian female writer to be proud of for sure." - Marilyn

"I enjoy Butala's books. I would give this book a three and a half star. I thought the description of her life in Quebec could have been shortened. Also, Charles, does not seem like a normal three or four year old - they do not normally require naps and coddling - I felt the book depicted him as much younger than his years. I did enjoy the pioneer story about survival in the face of abandonment on the Prairies. In fact, I learned a lot about the rights of women during those times. I would like to read more books about Women and the Canadian Prairies. Butala's descriptions made you feel the cold prairie winter, and the hot summers." - Terrie

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