Alice Zorn is a writer of incredible sensitivity and precision, and this haunting, tender novel is her finest work yet. Five Roses weaves together the delicate dance of friendship, the intensity of love, and the aftermath of loss in a story as vivid and remarkable as life itself. Its people and places will linger with you long after you have put it down.
Saleema Nawaz, author of Bone and Bread
Alice Zorn’s new novel Five Roses weaves incantatory magic. The warp of this novel is Zorn’s elegant prose style and the weft is her compassionate attention to the colourful interior lives of her characters as they untangle various losses. Five Roses is an arresting artwork, a compulsive read, and a moving, complex, meditation on what it is to form a good-enough life from the remnants of hard memories. A beautiful, beautiful book.
Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things
The real sweetness of Five Roses lies beneath physical details, in the glimpses she offers of human hearts.
Montreal Review of Books
The overall effect is like that of a well-arranged piece of chamber music where a set of exquisitely wrought individual parts gradually entwines into a deeply satisfying whole.
Disparate narratives woven together in a way that sparks magic.
Pickle Me This
A gentle, beautiful book, Five Roses shows how unexpected spaces may make room for reconnection, even love.
Literary Review of Canada
With Five Roses, Zorn’s handiwork is delicate and hard-wearing, textured and striking. An oh-so-lovely novel you can sink right into.
In Zorn’s hands, Montreal is a living, breathing city, one that exists off the page.
subTerrain, issue #76
Zorn soulfully articulates the pain of her characters, but also their remarkable resiliency and resourcefulness.
Quill and Quire
A great choice for character-driven readers who appreciate a well-developed setting.
A great read that offered a look into how certain events, traumatic experiences, tragedies, shape our identity.
Five Roses was a very good read.
I felt that this love letter to this particular part of Montreal only added to the story, as I become invested in the neighbourhood as much as in the characters.
Lost in a Great Book
You know an author has done her job when you close the book and for a while you continue to wonder what the characters are getting up to.
What a fantastic read.
Zorn’s linguistic skills are well evidenced; she can sketch a situation with a few deft phrases.
Winnipeg Free Press
Through Zorn’s vivid writing, one can taste the pastries and hear, see, and smell the neighbourhood even while observing the growth in the lives of these ordinary yet remarkable women.
The Winnipeg Review
Part cross-generational lost-child saga, part haunted house tale, part Armistead Mapuin-style urban kaleidoscope novel and, in its own way, a tribute to a Montreal neighbourhood.