The Marriage of Rose Camilleri

Douglas & McIntyre. Mar. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781771623049. pap. $22.95. F
Prolific and award-winning Canadian author Hough (The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan) brings the titular character to blooming, energetic life. Hough chronicles Rose’s entire life, from her teenage years on the Maltese island of Gozo, where she was the youngest in a poor family, to the existence and family she creates for herself in Canada. The book opens as she starts a seemingly ordinary day with her ailing husband, Scotty. Mysteriously, Scotty has only five days left, but it isn’t until the last few chapters that readers learn that Scotty is planning an assisted suicide in Vancouver. This is one issue among many as the book plunges into the struggles, sorrows, and triumphs of Rose’s life with Scotty. The story goes in a full circle, with life the point. Rose is an appealing character who, despite her flaws, courageously seizes life. Scotty is not as broadly drawn, but he is quietly present, loyal, hardworking, and steadfast, as he was for Rose.
VERDICT For readers who appreciate larger-than-life characters. The assisted suicide may be controversial, but that will give book groups much to discuss.
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