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On The Table Read, “The Best Book Reader Magazine in the UK“, Alanna Irving describes her new book, Abolish The Rose, about Camille Addison confronting her tragic past to understand her life.

Alanna Irving’s Abolish the Rose finds 62-year-old Camille Addison at a loose end in retirement, ruminating on the unexpected tragedy that derailed her life. 

Abolish The Rose by Alanna Irving on The Table Read
Abolish The Rose

Enrolling in an evening art class as a distraction, Camille finds herself confronted with questions – has it all been a waste? Would she change the past if she had the chance? What is a life well-lived?

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Abolish The Rose

Released on 10th April 2022, Abolish the Rose challenges our need for happy endings and self-fulfilment.

Irving’s protagonist is sarcastic, defensive and stubbornly resentful, yet her begrudging reflections on life and the events that knocked her off course are insightful and poignant.

Through the evocative framing device of an innocuous art class, Camille revisits the twists and turns of her life, the people she has lost, and the events she has never managed to come to terms with. While true closure might always be out of reach, maybe value can still be found in the life that unfolded so differently from her plans.

A story that lingers long after its last page, Abolish the Rose would also make a perfect book club candidate and undoubtedly provoke some interesting post-read discussion.

Camille Addison

Abolish the Rose asks the question: what’s the point?

Camille Addison, sixty-two, recently retired, is struggling to fill her time, and to avoid the nagging suspicion that her life has been pointless. She signs up to an evening ‘interpretative art’ class at the local university. In the first lesson, there is a discussion about the function of art, which Camille in her cynicism wants to deride. Several of the other students insist good art can only stem from pain, which originally Camille snorts at. But over the course of the classes, she thinks back over the people, decisions and events in her life that she might draw on for inspiration.

This novel takes the reader on a journey through the past in search of meaning in the present.

Alanna Irving on The Table Read
Alanna Irving

Through a vivid catalogue of heart-warming and harrowing life experiences, we are drawn to question, along with Camille – how much control do we have over the path our lives take? Would we change the past if we had the chance? What is a life well lived?

Reading Never Goes Out of Style

About Alanna Irving

Alanna (rhymes with Hannah) was born and raised in Nottingham, England. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Classics and a Master’s in International Relations, and currently lives, works and salsa-dances in Barcelona. 

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