Elizabeth Rose's "Lost in Apple Grove" tells the story of a woman named Esther Mathers, a dedicated family woman, a veteran of war time America, and a general inspiration in terms of her diamond hard character.
Rose builds Esther's characterization throughout the work, leading the reader through a series of flashbacks derived from Esther's dementia.
Music, objects, smells and situations serve as catalysts for her memories, and as lost as she is in her own mind and in the physical sense, I had the distinct impression her journey was somehow bringing her closer to herself and her estranged family.
Through her memories we also are introduced to many members of her family. Their tumultuous life seems to have cut their family ties, and Esther's escape may be what they need to come back together.
The makings of a very emotional and suspenseful story are within the pages of Lost In Apple Grove. There are many places in this draft that leave me desiring elaboration.
Sometimes the draft felt rushed. Scenes constructed from Esther's memories were set up very well and felt integral to the story because of how Rose meticulously penned them. Other scenes and characters were blurred in my mind's eye, and I'm not sure if this was meant to be symbolic, as if the characters perceptions were not as honed as the memories of Esther.
As a whole the work is full of thematic elements that I readily picked up on. If more attention were given to the draft, this work could easily become a praised literary novel. I recommend this novel for those looking for an interesting, literary read.