Fiction Book Reviews

Romance | Roses of Marrakech | Rachel Clare

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We’re delighted to be on Rachel’s Random Resources tour today sharing Laura’s thoughts on Roses of Marrackech by Rachel Clare.

Book cover for Roses of Marrakech by Rachel Clare

Roses of Marrakech by Rachel Clare is published by The Book Guild and is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.

Roses of Marrakech is a breath-taking romantic fiction, set between 1944 and 2016. The story follows 36-year-old primary school teacher, Ivy Fielding, who suffers from a lack of self-esteem due to a facial birthmark. Her great-aunt Rose, who has always been her main source of emotional support, has just died, leaving her a bequest as well as her Lavenham cottage to Ivy and her mother. Ivy discovers tragedies in her family’s past while reading her late great-aunt’s diary, and this inspires her to fulfil a childhood dream and she jets off to Marrakech for the summer holidays.

Set against the backdrop of wartime Suffolk and the present-day spice-scented souks of Morocco, Ivy follows a trail of discovery that will change her life and those around her, forever.

But when uncomfortable secrets of the past begin to surface, can she find the courage to confront them, or is it easier to walk away?


Roses of Marrakech is a stunning debut novel by Rachel Clare.

I fell in love with her two characters, Ivy and Rose and by the beautiful scenery of Marrakech.

Ivy a school teacher recently lost her great-aunt Rose and decided to take the plunge and take her summer holiday in Marrakech, a favourite of Rose’s. At 36, Ivy always felt self conscious of her birth mark covering half of her face and struggled with relationships.

She meets an artist Jacques, who shares her love of literature and beautiful architecture. Their friendship blossoms into love. His character is attentive, kind, intelligent but hides a secret.

Before leaving for her holiday Ivy finds an old diary belonging to Rose and discovers her heart-breaking and emotional time before and during the Second World War. I loved the use of a diary to provide a dual timeline novel, it was a wonderful addition to this story.

Both Rose and Ivy are beautiful, captivating characters however I also enjoyed the secondary characters and how they added to this story.

Wonderful descriptions of a country I would love to visit including the sights, smells and delicious sounding food.

An interesting and extremely well written story.

Highly recommended.

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Author photo Rachel Clare

Rachel gained a BA (Hons) in French/English at Liverpool Hope University and an MA in Modern Languages Research at Lancaster University before training to be a journalist. She now lives in Lancaster and teaches French in a primary school. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was a child and coming runner up in a Sunday Express story competition gave her the confidence to write her first novel, Roses of Marrakech.

Whenever I go on holiday, I always take my notebook with me. Visiting Morocco and Lavenham a few years ago, I made notes of my impressions of the places I visited and began writing the book when I returned”, comments Rachel. “In the book, Ivy’s struggles with coming to terms with her birthmark are based on my own experiences with cerebral palsy, whilst the characters, Violet and Eleanor are based on my great-aunts who both died of TB in the late 1920s”.

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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