The Wild Rose

The Wild Rose by Jennifer DonnellyThe Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is the third and final book in her series about the Finnigan family, following The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose. This is the story of the youngest Finnigan, Seamus, known as Seamie. His story will Willa Aldan actually starts in the end of The Winter Rose where a terrible accident on Kilimanjaro leaves Willa without a leg and a desire never to see Seamie ever again.

The book follows them as they are separated and meet over and over again. Willa has a huge chip on her shoulder which she gained the instant she lost her leg. She has fallen into great despair knowing that she’ll never be able to climb a mountain again. Seamus moves on with his life, marrying a woman to forget Willa.

This was a really hard book for me to rate and review. I loved the first books so much that I had very high expectations and was let down in an extreme way. Neither Seamie nor Willa were characters I had any respect for. They obviously loved each and, as such, went and slept with everyone else and turned to drugs. They were incredibly selfish and didn’t care that they ruined countless lives. Their remorse didn’t even feel real to me.

This was even more disappointing because I really loved Willa and Seamie in The Winter Rose. I feel as if Jennifer Donnelly pretty much ruined them for me. What I did enjoy about this book was the updates on the main characters from the previous two books. It was nice to see glimpses into their present lives.

So what do you think? Did you read this book? Any of the others?

The Tea Rose

The Tea Rose by Jennifer DonnellyThe Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is the prequel to The Winter Rose. The Tea Rose is the story of Fiona Finnegan and Joe Bristow. Both work in a tea factory run by William Burton and are in love, after having grown up together. Fiona is very talented at her job and wants nothing more than to open her open business selling tea with Joe. Just as things seem to be going well, Fiona’s life is torn apart. Her father is murdered for trying to start a union, her mother is brutally killed by Jack the Ripper, Joe is ripped away from her and tricked into a loveless marriage, and her brother Charlie is found dead in the river Thames. Fiona finds her life in danger when she tries to gain compensation from Burton for her father’s death and overhears how he plotted to kill her father. Fiona wastes no time in getting her younger brother Seamie and leaving the country as quickly as she can with the aid of Nicholas Soames.

Fiona runs to the only relative she knows is still alive, but when she arrives at her uncle’s apartment in New York, she finds a shell of a man, heavily in debt as he mourns the loss of his wife and child. Having nowhere else to go, Fiona has no choice but to rebuild her uncle’s grocery business. She is more than successful and finds a way to come back to exact her revenge on the man responsible for her father’s death.
I loved this book as much as I loved the sequel. Fiona is such a strong character that I couldn’t help but emphasize with her. She is determined and will do everything she can to accomplish her goal. She takes terrible situations and turns them around so that she comes out better off. The characters are all believable, and I couldn’t help but love Joe even through all the mistakes he made. The settings were realistic and added wonderfully to the story. I cannot wait to read more by this author. She is wonderful!

The Winter Rose

The Winter Rose by Jennifer DonnellyI absolutely loved The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. India is a new doctor during the turn of the century, trying to break through the barriers that women doctors faced during this time. The thing she most wants to do is open a free clinic for women and children who live in the poorest parts of town. Everywhere she turns she finds another roadblock in her path. But she soon finds she’s not alone when she meets Ella, a nurse who works for her less than caring boss.

Though India is engaged to a man named Freddie who wants nothing more than to work his way up the political ladder, she find her path crossing with Sid Malone, the notorious leader of underground crime, more than once. As soon as something seems to be going right for India, something awful happens, usually at the end of a chapter which made me want to read the next one that much more. I almost always did too.

Along with the story of India, Sid, and Freddie, I was immersed into the lives of Fiona and Joe Bristow, and many other wonderful characters. I loved how Donnelly was able to intertwine so many stories seemingly effortlessly in a way that wasn’t overwhelming in the least. There was something about each character I fell in love with or hated (if they were a less than desirable person). It was perfect.

I had a hard time putting it down when I knew I had to study or go to sleep. I kept my roommate updated on what was happening to India and Sid without giving too much away. I didn’t think she was that interested until she was about to leave and wanted me to give her some suggestions for books to read this summer. The book was thick, and I thoroughly enjoyed all 707 pages of it.

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