Friday, August 14, 2009
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
From the publisher:
"East London, 1888 -- a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.
But Fiona's life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything--and everyone--she holds dear...."
The Tea Rose is a sweeping saga featuring star-crossed young lovers Fiona and Joe in Whitechapel during Jack the Ripper's reign of terror. Hopes and dreams, tragedy, terror, suspense, love and loss, revenge, good fortune and triumph are the threads that weave this tale of the indomitable heroine, Fiona Finnegan. I enjoy big, chunky historical novels, and this one takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as she travels from London to New York in her struggle to survive and overcome the adversity in her life. The novel needed some editing as I thought it ran a little long in parts and could have been more concise, but the period details were interesting and the twists and turns of the plot lines were compelling. The reader is a little battle weary by the ending, but it is worth it to stay until the bitter end. Do I love it enough to read the sequel, The Winter Rose? Probably not -- this will be a stand alone book for me. Can't quite put my finger on it, but it lacked that special quality that would have made this otherwise
interesting story a 5 star read. If you've read it, what are your thoughts?
Title: The Tea Rose
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
4 stars = Very Good; worth reading