Rose Rivers is the most recent book from the world of Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson. In fact, it’s from the world of Clover Moon. We first meet Rose in Jacqueline Wilson’s earlier novel, Clover Moon. Then Hetty, Clover and Rose all come together in Hetty Feather’s Christmas.
Rose is the privileged eldest daughter of the artist who sketched Clover in Clover Moon. Rose is jealous that her twin brother, Rupert, has gone away to school. Her younger siblings aren’t much fun and she feels trapped between childhood and adulthood. She wonders why Rupert is allowed to grow up, but her mother still expects her to be a child.
Rose has a difficult relationship with her mother. Rose’s father tries to encourage her to follow in his artistic footsteps, but Rose doesn’t have her father’s talent. But when a young artist friend of her father, Paris Walker, visits the house, Rose starts to find herself more interested in art.
Meanwhile, Clover Moon moves into the house as a nurserymaid, much to Rose’s mother’s disgust. But Clover is good with small children, especially Rose’s sister Beth (who is possibly autistic, but wouldn’t have had a diagnosis in Victorian times). Clover also becomes a friend to Rose, but Rose has to be careful as her mother would disapprove of her being friends with a common servant.
Like in Dancing the Charleston, the crux of the plot happens away from the main setting – when Rose and her family travel to Scotland for New Year. The trip to Scotland threatens to blow her family apart and will have lasting consequences for Rose.
This is a wonderful read for fans of Jaqueline Wilson or readers who are new to Jacqueline Wilson. It’s not necessary to have read Hetty Feather or Clover Moon to enjoy it, but if you haven’t read them, they are well worth a read too!