In a corner of south-western France, a young rose grower nurtures a private passion to breed an exotic new flower. But the year is 1789, and the world is about to change... The Rose Grower throws a subtle, slanting light on the underside of history, as a young woman and her family are caught up in the bloodthirsty years of the French Revolution. Her private passion is to create a repeat-flowering crimson rose, the first of its kind in Europe. But, as public events in Paris are duplicated in Gascony, her world turns upside down. An American balloonist falls out of the sky and into her life; while Joseph, a young working-class doctor, is also drawn into her orbit, and finds himself fatally torn between reason and desire, revolutionary zeal and unrequited love.