Review: The Missing Rose

“do you know what it means to be a rose, my friend? Being a rose means ‘freedom.’ It means not existing by the praises of Others or not ceasing to exist by their disapproval. Don’t get me wrong; I, too, love people. I want them to visit me and smell my scent. But I only want this so I can offer them my perfume.” -Serdar Özkan

This little book came to me from a friend across the ocean, and as I read it, I was transported again back to foreign lands.

Diana’s mother has just died, and Diana has yet to find her feet and carry on with life as she had known it before. Never knowing her father, she feels completely alone in the world, except for the fact that her mother has left her with a final task: that of finding and taking care of her long lost twin sister, Maria.

For over a month, Diana mopes around her huge house, letting her studies at law school drag. She balks at accepting her mother’s final wishes, feeling in one sense betrayed that another had been able to sneak in and steal her place in what became her mother’s final months.

Finally, after a chance encounter with a fortune teller in a park by the ocean. His cryptic messages renewed Diana’s interest in following through with her mother’s request, and she went home with the motivation to figure out what exactly it was that she was supposed to be looking for.

Before she knew it, Diana found herself leaving home in Rio de Janeiro and embarking on a journey around the world to Istanbul, where she feels she may be able to find someone who knew Maria well. When she arrives, she does indeed, after much furtive searching, find the lady who had mentored Maria, according to letters found in her mother’s possessions. Zeynep Hanim was excited that Maria had returned, and Diana had to break the news to her that she was not actually Maria, but her twin sister, Diana. Zeynep agreed after Diana’s pleading to provide her lessons, like she had with Maria, to teach her how to hear the roses speak. Diana was extremely skeptical at the beginning, but felt that perhaps this was the only way she would be able to find Maria.

And that’s where I’ll leave you in the story. You definitely don’t want me to give away all the secrets. 🙂

I really loved this book. It is written as an allegory, and the lessons it conveys are beautiful and important, especially for our culture today. We don’t need others to determine who we are, and the moment that we allow them to define us, we lose a major part of us. 

Two nights ago, Jeremy was reading the Jesus Storybook Bible to Narli, Bug, and me. One thing that the Jesus Storybook Bible highlights is that everything is lovely because He {God} loves them. The Missing Rose is not written from a biblical worldview, but I feel that the ideas portrayed pointed me to the truth that God’s opinion of me is all that matters. Giving others the power to control me, and shape and form me because I have to look the way they want me to. There is such freedom in that truth!! 

I would highly recommend this book to just about everyone. It was an easy read {less than a week for me}, and there are a lot of good discussion points woven throughout the book. I think that this would be a really fun book to read with a teenage friend or daughter, or even to read and talk about as a family.

And, just in case you forgot that I left you hanging . . . there is quite a twist at the end. 🙂


In other words, I just signed up for the Great Christmas Exchange over at Oak & Oats. It sounds like a great idea, and there are just a few more days to sign up!! The gist is that people from all over the world have the chance to sign up and participate in a Secret Santa exchange. It’s just a way to grow community and make new friends. No one is expected to spend more than $20, and it’ll be fun to see what other people decide to send you, and even more fun to put together a little package for someone else!! If you’re interested, head on over and sign up!!

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