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By Heather Summerhayes Cariou

“Cariou is a deft emotional cartographer…Sixtyfive Roses is a love letter, a thank-you note, a defense, a plea, a setting straight, a reaching out.”
The Globe and Mail

“Cariou’s strength is palpable and impressive. In a beautifully rendered opening chapter she remembers her sister’s wish that their story be told. … [A] finely felt memoir”
London Free Press


Cariou_Sixyfive Roses

Sixtyfive Roses is a beautifully written memoir retracing the author’s relationship with her sister Pam, who died at the age of twenty-six from cystic fibrosis. At the age of four, Pam had been given only months to live. “Sixty-five roses” is the way she pronounced the disease that altered the lives of her entire family, who in turn helped alter the community’s response to the disease. Pam’s parents founded an organization for the parents of cystic fibrosis sufferers, which became the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Cystic Fibrosis associations are now international, and the worldwide membership is substantial.

Rich in detail, loving, funny, and profoundly moving, Sixtyfive Roses illuminates what we all must come to understand about the nature of life and death.

“I couldn’t put it down. The tale of these two sisters, how they laughed, cried and LIVED, is completely enthralling”
-Angela Lansbury

“This narrative is splendid! Deeply moving and beautifully written!”
-DM Thomas, author of The White Hotel

“Should one miss this journey of love? Not at all. This memoir is told with complete honesty and with a soft conscience. Get ready to be inspired.”
-The National Association of Baby Boomer Women (USA)

“Exceedingly candid. . . . Anyone who has been part of a family in which serious disease has intruded will identify with Cariou’s account of the emotional strain under which they all lived.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“In Sixtyfive Roses, Cariou . . . demonstrates a startling candour in her account not only of her sister’s suffering, but of her own adolescent insufferableness. The book – and her life – is filled with petty temper tantrums and attempts to wrest attention from her sister. While these passages paint the author in a far from flattering light, they underscore the overall honesty of the work, which deals frankly with the physical and emotional rollercoaster of living with, alongside, terminal illness. . . . Sixtyfive Roses is compelling, candid, and heartbreaking.”
Quill & Quire

“As one who has researched the long-term impact of serious illness and death of a sibling for two decades . . . I have heard many tales of survival and courage but never in such profound and moving detail.”
-Joanna Fanos, Director, Sibling Center, California Pacific Medical Center

“A remarkable testament to the depths of a sister’s love.”
-Don Meyer, editor of The Sibling Slam Book


McArthur & Co, Canada, 2006

McArthur & Co, US, January 2008


Globe and Mail 100 Best Books of 2006

Chapters Indigo Online Bestseller

Chapters Indigo Online Readers Choice

McNally Robinson Bestseller, Winnipeg

Book of the Year 2007, Memoir, at

Target stores Recommended Read March 2008

First Place: Biography/Autobiography at the 2009 Nashville Book Festival

Longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads 2012