Can you ever leave the past behind?
Roses of Marrakech is a breathtaking 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?
Rachel Clare lives in Lancaster and says that she “wanted to write a novel about disability/disfigurement, both seen (shown through Ivy’s experiences as a child) and unseen (when Ivy begins to cover her face as an adult)” as Rachel suffers with Cerebral Palsy herself. Rachel says that she “thought it would be interesting to explore a character who can conceal herself from others, the consequences being far from positive sometimes”. Rachel has a BA (Hons) in English and French, a MA in Modern Languages Research and a Postgraduate Diploma in Newspaper Journalism. She started to write this book after to travelling to Morocco and Lavenham a few years ago, taking along with her a notebook and a pen to make notes of her impressions of all of the places that she visited and experienced.