The Blue Rose By Kate Forsyth: Book Review & Summary

The Blue Rose By Kate Forsyth – Penguin Books Australia

The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth - Penguin Books Australia

The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth – An Enchanting Tale of Love and Adventure

If you’re looking for a romantic and adventurous read, then you must check out The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth. This novel is a breathtaking adventure with an intriguing historical background, and it is sure to leave you captivated.

Kate Forsyth is a well-known and celebrated Australian author. She has written more than thirty books including Bitter Greens, The Wild Girl, and The Beast’s Garden, which have all been international bestsellers. Forsyth’s writing style is enchanting, and her rich and vivid descriptions of people, places, and events convey a captivating sense of time and place.

Main Themes and Ideas

The main themes and ideas of The Blue Rose touch on a range of fascinating concepts. The story is primarily about Viviane de Faitaud, a young Frenchwoman who finds herself amidst a world of conflict and intrigue during the late eighteenth century. Viviane’s journey is one of adventure, love, and self-discovery.

The historical background of The Blue Rose centers around a rare and wondrous flower – the blue rose, which was thought to be mythical at the time. The quest to find this flower sets Viviane on a journey across the world, and she finds herself adrift in exotic locations such as China and India. This gives the story a sense of travel and exploration, which is highly enjoyable to read.

In the novel, Forsyth also touches on the theme of love. Viviane falls in love with a man named David, who she meets during her travels. However, they both come from vastly different backgrounds, and their love is forbidden. The story explores the challenges they face and the sacrifices they make for their love.

Another key theme in the book is the role of women in eighteenth-century society. Viviane is a determined and independent woman, but she is constantly at odds with the rigid expectations and patriarchal values of her time. This adds an extra layer of depth to the novel, as it highlights the struggles and limitations placed on women during that time period.

Critical Evaluation of the Writing Style

Kate Forsyth’s writing style is rich and vivid, and she uses evocative language to bring the characters and settings in the novel to life. She has researched the historical background of the story thoroughly, and this is evident in her descriptions of the various locations and cultures that Viviane encounters during her travels, from the lush landscapes of India to the bustling streets of China.

Forsyth also weaves elements of magical realism into her storytelling. The blue rose, which is the central plot device, is presented as a magical and otherworldly flower that holds the power to heal and transform. These elements of magic, combined with the more realistic historical setting, help to create a fantastical and intriguing World that the reader can lose themselves in.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The Blue Rose is a beautifully crafted novel that is sure to captivate readers with its rich characters and evocative settings. One of the main strengths of the book is Forsyth’s writing style. The language is rich and enthralling, and the sense of time and place is incredibly descriptive.

One potential weakness of the novel is that the plot can be somewhat predictable at times. The story follows a classic tale of love amidst strife and conflict, and there are times when the reader can predict how the narrative will unfold. However, this does not detract from the overall impact of the novel, as the beauty of Forsyth’s writing makes up for this limitation.


Overall, The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth is a captivating and well-crafted novel, with beautifully drawn characters and settings. The story is enchanting and evocative, and the themes of love, adventure, and self-discovery are explored with depth and insight. While there are moments when the plot can be predictable, the overall impact of the book is more than worth it.

If you enjoy historical romance and adventure, then this book is a must-read. It’s reminiscent of other great works such as Pride and Prejudice and Outlander, but it also has a unique voice and a distinct sense of place that make it stand out.


Is The Blue Rose suitable for younger readers?

The novel does touch on some mature themes, such as love and sex, so it may not be suitable for younger readers. However, it is a great choice for adults who enjoy historical romance and adventure.

Is this book part of a series?

No, The Blue Rose is a standalone novel.

Where can I purchase a copy of the book?

The novel is widely available at bookstores and online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

What inspired Kate Forsyth to write this novel?

Forsyth has spoken about her fascination with the blue rose since she was a child. She became enchanted with the idea of creating a story that revolved around this rare and elusive flower, and that was the inspiration for The Blue Rose.

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