March 1, 2008

The Winter Rose

The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Fiction/Historical Romance
2008 Hyperion
Finished on 2/27/08
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)
What's In A Name Challenge

Publisher's Blurb:

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 romp saga. While it never felt plodding or dull, I did find myself a little impatient to reach the end of the story. I loved The Tea Rose; it made my 2004 Top Ten list. I wasn't disappointed in this sequel, but it doesn't rate as high as its predecessor. (As I read, though, I couldn't help but think it would make a wonderful movie. Clive Owen would be my choice for Sid Malone. Not sure about any of the other characters. Maybe Helena Bonham Carter as India. But I digress.)

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.


  1. I have this book waiting for me. I admit the size of it is keeping me from it at the moment. I know, weird :)

  2. Anonymous6:50 PM

    I have The Tea Rose on my bookshelf and have heard good things about this series. Thanks for the review.

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  4. Anonymous3:15 AM

    Good review, as I am a frequent visitor of SiliconIndia, it will be great if you can publish your article in its publishing section. People contribute their thoughts and contents in this section. I am sure that all the members will love to read your article.

  5. Iliana - Might be a good summer read, in spite of the title! All ya need is a couple of days out by a pool or on the beach and the pages will fly. ;)

    Stephanie - Oh, lucky you. You're in for a treat with The Tea Rose!!

    Sanjana - Thanks for the information. I'll take a look at the site.

  6. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Since I am finding it difficult to read 20 pages a day with my husband being down and needing constant help, I will tackle this later in the year. I too loved "The Tea Rose" so really appreciated this review, Les. Makes me realize there is no hurry.


  7. Gayla - There's no hurry, but it's definitely worthwhile. Might be a good summer read. Hope you can get back in the reading groove soon!

  8. Anonymous4:40 PM

    i am 15 and have read the tea rose and the winter rose. They are both amazing and instantly became favorites. i fell in love with sid malone and his wounded background instantly and india and her need to save .
    i highly reccomend both of these!

  9. Anonymous - Thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear you enjoyed both books. Me, too! I'm looking forward to the third in the series.


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