...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Royal Book Review...

Finally finished The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. I really enjoyed this Victorian Novel. It was an ambitious undertaking. There were many side stories, but they all linked to the protagonist Fiona Finnegan. Fiona grows up in Whitechapel, London an area well known for crime, and poverty. Her parents are Irish immigrants trying to feed their family on a dock workers wages.
The story begins when Fiona is a teenage in love with the boy next door, Joe Bristowe. Fiona and Joe have big plans, they are saving to one day open a shop together. They scrimp and save what they can after their contributions to the family budget. The year is 1888 a time of workers unrest and the birth of Unions. Things are heating up all over the place in Whitechapel with the strikes, mobs and Jack the Ripper preying on poor prostitutes. Fiona begins to feel that her life isn't as secure as she thought. In a matter of months she loses both parents, her elder brother and even the love of her life Joe to another woman. One night she overhears a brutal secret putting her life in serious danger. She must flee with her younger brother to America to live with her Uncle. On her voyage across the ocean she meets a young man who is also fleeing England and his family. They develop a life long friendship and together they begin their lives in a new country with new identities. Fiona grows into a beautiful, savvy, and tough woman. No one is going to mess with her or her family. She is determined to bring justice to those who hurt her family, she will do all in her power to achieve this. She never forgets about Joe Bristowe, even in the arms of a handsome, brilliant man worth millions who adores her.

The story goes back and forth between London and New York. Just when you thought you figured it out you are in for a surprise. If you loved Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford you will love Tea Rose. It's a big book but a fast read.
The week link in the story was Jack the Ripper, in my opinion that part could of been totally left out and no one would have missed it. I am not a fan of re-writing historical events. There are other ways of incorporating the facts. Other than that it was a great read, not really thought provoking, but very entertaining and romantic. I look forward to reading the sequel Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.

I give this book 4 royal crowns out of 5.


  1. I love this cover, the story sounds like it could be an emotional & turbulent one. Sounds good, I like books that succeed in entertaining, after all, isn't that what they were made for? Thanks for the review, Susie! I hadn't heard of her till you had mentioned you were enjoying it. I'll have to look it up.

  2. This is one of my favorite books! Glad to see another great review of it. The Winter Rose. is just as fantastic!

  3. I really enjoyed this book thoroughly - and have been waiting for new titles. I have gotten my maternal line back to the 1700's in England and Ireland but don't know how to go past that. Are you using Ancestry?

  4. I liked this book, but thought there were two many coincidences and near misses. I loved, loved, loved The Winter Rose and can't wait to read the third book in the trilogy when it finally comes out.

  5. Love the Halloween look - super cute!!!

    Another one here who LOVED this book, as well as, The Winter Rose. I am avidly awaiting the next one.

    Great review!


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