1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to loose some sleep over this great yarn!
This was such a wonderful tale, I simply could not put it down. A tale of two star crossed lovers (they came SO CLOSE to finding each other time after time after time I wanted to scream!), a lovely glimpse of Victorian England and New York City. Many memorable characters, heartbreak and laughter and of course a truly evil villain waiting for the good guys to vanquish, and...
Published on March 3 2007 by Misfit
1.0 out of 5 stars sluggish
I know many people enjoyed this historical novel, the first of three, but i found it as slow as treacle in the middle of the winter. i won't be finishing it or reading the others.
Published 4 months ago by kiwira
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4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Tale of True Love,
A splendid tale of true love and the long journey it takes. This deserves 4 1/2 stars because the writing is top notch, the story moves quickly, the plot twists are intriguing and as a whole it draws you into the tale. It's only flaw may be that it was too predictable at some points, but that is no reason to bypass this excellent book. This story is great for vacation since it reads so well and is easy to interrupt and resume.
5.0 out of 5 stars My Cup of Tea!,
This was a wonderful, sweeping epic of a story.
Set in the last 1800's in England, the book tells the story of Fiona Finnegan, a young girl who has to deal with an extreme amount of tragedy in her life. We also meet her boyfriend, Joe, the love of her life. The two plan to marry and open their own store but events unfold that tear them apart and shatter their dreams.
The rest is truly a rags to riches story. There is mystery, romance, murder and mayhem...all very well written and highly entertaining.
A satisfying and exciting read. I highly recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read,
I loved this book! It took a little while to get involved, but once I was, I couldn't put it down! Even now, having finished it a week ago, I am still thinking about the characters, as if they were real! Donnelly does a great job of getting the reader involved in these peoples lives. I am a fan of the genre (19th century poverty striken London), having read "The Crimson Petal and the White," "Slammerkin," "Falling Angels." This was one of the best books I have read this year. And if you are a closet "Ripperologist" you will love the intersting take on who he was! I liked how Donnelly incoroprated real people and events into this fictional story. I am looking forward to reading Donnelly's other book, "A Northern Light," and hope it is just as good. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun and and well written book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably good!,
I did not want this book to end - I loved being swept up in this colorful, rich, exciting story, where all the plots were as descriptive and real as watching them on a movie screen. I loved the descriptions of the marketplace in London, and of the sacrifices that Fiona and her mother made while supporting the family on very little funds. The dialogue was engaging, often funny, and one observes the characters' dialect becoming more refined as they moved upwards in life.
There was amazing struggle in the beginning. However, at the turning point in the story, one could not help falling in love with Nicholas, while pining away for Fiona's lost love, Joe. Much develops in the span of ten years. The reader is transported to America where the descriptions of old New York are refreshing and optimistic - it's wonderful to picture New York with the Fifth Avenue mansions and horses and carriages. I feel like visiting Delmonico's restaurant after reading this book!
Returning to London to fulfill a special, life-long mission, Fiona reflects on her childhood and life-altering experiences that led to her success. One can't help but admire her determination and ingenuity.
There is so much more that I loved about this book that I can't put it all in this review - you should read this book and make your own list of things! However, I do wish there were more of Jennifer Donnelly's novels - I look forward to seeing what she'll try next.
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down,
At the airport I was in need of something to read. I stopped at the gift center and the novel The Tea Rose caught my attention. I love that era and so I bought it. I read it in two days, one of which I was awake the entire evening reading the book. I cried and laughed and regretted finishing it so soon. I look forward to reading other books from this author. I was not disappointed!
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Victorian Epic Romance!,
Author Jennifer Donnelly has included in "The Tea Rose" a veritable wishlist come true of wonderful melodrama, plots, subplots, an extraordinary heroine, a hero who self-destructs and redeems himself, the worst of villains and an overall cast of lively and unusual characters that readers of historical romance will love. If you bury your nose in this delightful, juicy novel you may not come up for air until the last page is finished.
Set against the backdrop of Victorian England, in the poor Whitechapel district where prostitutes work, the working poor live, hungry children play and Jack the Ripper kills, a poor girl makes plans for the future with the boy she loves. Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, wants to open a shop with her childhood love, costermonger's son Joe Bristow. Leaving the dirty cobbled streets and dark alleyways of their neighborhood behind, the two meet at the River Thames, when work and their daily struggle allow, to pool their savings and spin their dreams of a bright future and a better life together.
Then tragedy strikes the Bristow family - traumas, one after another, hit them hard and take a terrible toll. Death, disease, heinous murders and a betrayal leave Fionna and her baby brother on the streets, alone and in terrible danger. Fionna, ever resourceful and resilient makes her way to the United States and New York City to begin a new life. Propelled by her past dreams, her innate business acumen, tremendous energy and a sense of vengeance she works to pursue her plans and raise her brother in spite of her personal pain and loss.
Ms. Donnelly's lively cast of characters, including an interesting take on Jack the Ripper, are varied and fascinating. Her straightforward storyline could easily have fallen into cliches but she comes up with unusual plot twists, and somehow writes with freshness of the age old tale of love lost and found again, family destruction and revival, and a woman's indomitable spirit and ultimate triumph. The period detail and ambiance easily transport the reader from London's savage, seedy, slums to the glitter of New York City in the Gay '90s - Fifth Avenue, Union Square, Grammercy Park and Delmonico's Restaurant. This Victorian epic is a terrific read and Ms. Donnelly has done well with this debut novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!,
This book kept coming up on my recommendations, but I was hesitant to purchase it because of the size. I was extremely surprised that it kept my attention from page one right through to the end. I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading about this time period.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!,
I loved this book. I didn't want to put it down to go to work in the mornings. Even though it was almost 800 pages, I was wanting more. First time I've read this author. Hope she comes out with another soon.
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this on the Bestseller list??,
Wow!! What a terrific novel! I happened to notice this book while shopping and just picked it up because I needed something to read. Once I started I couldn't put it down. Fiona Finnegan's tale will have you laughing, crying and cheering for the good guys from page one. After 700 pages, I still want more!
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best reads in years,
I had this one on my bookshelf for well over a year before I finally read it and I have to say I do wish I had read it sooner. Similar in feel to early Barbara Taylor Bradford, it is a wonderful historical saga with many layers. Fiona Finnegan, from an Irish family living in the Whitechapel area of London has lofty dreams with her childhood love, Joe Bristow. After a series of tragedies finds her fleeing London to go to NYC, she establishes a tea empire, then returns to London to exact revenge on former employer responsible for death of father. This was a wonderful page turner with sympathetic characters and a wonderful love story. Highly recommended. I look forward to more books by this talented author.
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The Tea Rose: A Novel by Jennifer Donnelly (Paperback - Dec 10 2007)
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