I 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.