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Children of the Roses

Children of the Roses

(2004)
A novel by

 
Publisher's Weekly
Adler recreates the epic marital bickering that made the original War of the Roses (1989) such juicy movie material, but this tepid sequel pales despite the potential offered by the troubled marriage of Josh Rose, the son of the spouses who were killed by a falling chandelier after squabbling their way through the first book. Josh has all the trappings of success a satisfying job as creative director of a Manhattan ad agency, two beautiful children and a gorgeous albeit icy wife, Victoria, a former lawyer who was also damaged by her parent's bitter divorce. His stability is threatened, however, when he succumbs to the temptations of his chief designer, a married woman named Angela Bocci whose passion for risqu semi-public sex leads to a hot affair. Josh manages to hide his infidelity from Victoria as the couple struggle to keep their 11-year-old son, Michael, from being thrown out of an elite private school for a petty thievery incident. But all is lost when Angela's spouse, Dominic, tries to use the affair to blackmail Josh before revealing Josh's infidelity to Victoria, who is blackmailed into a separate series of erotic shenanigans by Michael's diabolical headmaster. Adler scores points with sly irony in the early infidelity chapters, but the story flattens when Angela demands a divorce and the couple's joint custody experiment begins. The generic bickering leads to an outrageous climax in which a near-tragic house fire causes the couple to rethink their separation; the sappy, over-the-top ending comes off as a half-baked attempt to outdo the savage humor of the original. There are some funny moments as Adler sets up his marital chess pieces, but this follow-up succumbs to sequelitis. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal
In more than two dozen popular novels, Adler has explored the intricacies of relationships. His latest is a poorly conceived, long-time-coming sequel to his best-known book, The War of the Roses (1981), which was made into a successful motion picture starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Josh and Victoria, the son and daughter-in-law of Oliver and Barbara Rose-who bickered their way through an unfortunate marriage until they were both killed by a falling chandelier-are not any happier together than Josh's parents were. Josh, a creative director at an advertising agency, is having a torrid affair with Angela, one of his employees, while Victoria, a beautiful attorney, falls into the sexual clutches of the conniving headmaster of her son's school. When their separate infidelities are revealed, Josh and Victoria separate, until a near calamity gives them a chance to rethink their decision to divorce. Adler wants to point out how dysfunctional family dynamics can negatively impact the next generation, but it doesn't work. Turgid prose, lame attempts at broad humor, unlikable and basically uninteresting characters, and a hackneyed plot add up to a good reason for all but the largest libraries to skip this. Not recommended.-Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Adler returns with a sequel to The War of the Roses (1981), offering another generation of nasty stick figures in foreseeable sentences. It may or may not be a good thing that the action here never gets quite as excruciating as in its predecessor, where divorcing parents battled literally to the death for possession of their stunningly restored house on DC's Embassy Row. Years later, young Josh Rose, son of the deceased Jonathan and Barbara, marries aggressive ex-lawyer Victoria, the toweringly dysfunctional child of a bitter mother who drove her husband into abandoning them and whose attitude toward men is "Never near when you need them, are they?" Josh and Victoria teach offspring Michael and Emily not to lie, but when Michael is accused repeatedly of stealing Milky Ways from hysterical and lisping fellow student Madeline, can they believe his denials? Victoria's ire rises stormlike over the child's private school. Adler sets us up for what bodes to be a Victoria-and-Josh repeat of Jonathan and Barbara's mortal match, but it doesn't work out that way. Josh, creative director at an ad agency, finds himself seduced by Angela Bocci, a brilliant Italian artist with two kids and a husband. He can't bear the strain and breaks up with her after six months, but Angela's thuggish spouse Dominic decides to blackmail him for $500,000. When Victoria hears about this, she takes Dominic to pieces. Meanwhile, Gordon Tatum, head of Michael's school, promises to expel the boy unless Victoria blows him. Josh and Victoria head toward divorce, but the kids will have final say about that. And, of course, Josh must discover Victoria's deed with Tatum. Strangely compelling through the middle pages, butAdler's prose is as threadbare as ever.

 
Used availability for Warren Adler's Children of the Roses


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Hardback Editions

April 2004 : USA Hardback
Title: The Children of the Roses: A Novel
Author(s): Warren Adler
ISBN: 1-4022-0197-4 / 978-1-4022-0197-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

June 2016 : Paperback
Title: The Children of the Roses
Author(s): Warren Adler
ISBN: 1-5329-8204-6 / 978-1-5329-8204-0
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

December 2011 : USA Paperback
Title: The Children of the Roses
Author(s): Warren Adler
ISBN: 1-59006-041-5 / 978-1-59006-041-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Stonehouse Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

July 2016 : USA Audio edition
Title: The Children of the Roses
Author(s): Warren Adler
Publisher: Stonehouse Productions
Availability: Amazon   

July 2016 : UK Audio edition
Title: The Children of the Roses
Author(s): Warren Adler
Publisher: Stonehouse Productions
Availability: Amazon UK   



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