The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Finished on 2/27/08
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)
What's In A Name Challenge
Every now and again, a storyteller comes along who can take us completely into her world and make us wish we never had to leave it. Jennifer Donnelly is such a writer.
When India Selwyn Jones, a young woman from a noble family, graduates from the London School of Medicine for Women in 1900, her professors advise her to set up her practice in London's esteemed Harley Street. Driven and idealistic, India chooses to work in the city's East End instead, serving the desperately poor.
In these grim streets, India meets--and saves the life of--London's most notorious gangster, Sid Malone. A hard, wounded man, Malone is the opposite of India's aristocratic fiancé, Freddie Lytton, a rising star in the House of Commons. Though Malone represents all she despises, India finds herself unwillingly drawn ever closer to him, intrigued by his hidden, mysterious past.
Though they fight hard against their feelings, India and Sid fall in love, and their unpredictable, passionate and bittersweet affair causes destruction they could never have imagined. Sweeping from London to Kenya to the wild, remote coast of California, The Winter Rose is a breathtaking return to the epic historical novel, from a masterful writer with a fresh, richly vivid, and utterly electrifying voice.
It was with great anticipation that I finally sat down and read Jennifer Donnelly's second installment in The Tea Rose trilogy. And settle down I did. This book weighs in at a hefty 720 pages (hardcover); it took me nearly three weeks to read. As with The Tea Rose, this sequel also has a large cast of characters whose paths continually cross, almost to the point of unbelievable coincidence. There are several "near misses" and occurrences to which the reader is privy, yet which remain unknown to the characters involved. One must be willing to suspend quite a bit of disbelief in order to enjoy this romantic
The Winter Rose is certainly an entertaining read, with its vivid settings and memorable characters; perfect for a long flight or a week at a beach resort! Be sure to read Heather's review, as well as her excellent interview with the author at Estella's Revenge.