Andrea di Robilant wasn't particularly interested in roses until he came upon a lovely silvery pink rose growing wild on his family's former estate. He discovered that his great-great-great-great grandmother had been friends with the Empress Josephine and in all likelihood brought the rose to Italy from France. Finding this connection, started his odyssey in search of the history of the rose.
Even if you don't love roses, this is a hard book to put down. The author interweaves the history of roses, particularly old roses, with his search for the rose from his family's former estate. In the process, he meets colorful characters like Eleanora and Valentino, who single-handedly care for a garden with thousands of roses.
The book is beautifully written, and the illustrations bring the characters and roses to life. I highly recommend this book. It made me want to visit the rose gardens of Italy.
I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.