Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Tea Rose

The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose, #1)The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

On the library stacks: Adult fiction
Series: Book 1 of 3 (The Tea Rose)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's 1888 and Jack the Ripper is on the loose in the East End of London. Fiona Finnegan works in a tea factory and Joe Bristow sells vegetables off his father's cart. They have loved each other since they were children, and together they are saving their pennies for the day they can get married and open their own shop. But their dreams are shattered--both by the choices they make and the dark forces at work in their working class neighborhood.

This is one of those sweeping epic novels that takes place over a decade in both London and New York. It's a rag-to-riches story about greed, ambition, evil, love, loss and revenge. It reminded me of the earlier works of Jeffrey Archer which I read a number of years ago. I really enjoy sinking my teeth into this kind of book, and this one was no exception. Even though it's a large novel, it held my interest and was well worth the time.

When I dissect this book, I do have some complaints. There was a lot of silly miscommunicating between the characters which aggravated me, especially since there was a certain degree of predictability. I didn't particularly like one of the main characters (I won't say who!) and there were a number of plot points that seemed wildly unrealistic, especially given the time period. Also, this book is definitely rated R for sex, language, and violence. But the bottom line is, when I look at the novel as a whole, it just worked for me and I really enjoyed it.

Also reviewed by: Ardent Reader ~ Tiny Little Reading Room ~ Your link here?

Book 73 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge, Book 32 of 50 for the RYOB Challenge, Book 51 of 55 for the Countdown Challenge (2002)

Source: Purchased


alisonwonderland said...

I loved Donnelly's A Northern Light, but I hadn't heard of this one until now. Thanks for the review!

Veens said...

I totally loved the cover! It is good to hear that despite the issues, it is an enjoyable read.

bermudaonion said...

I bet my mother would love this book! Thanks for the review.

Darlene said...

This one has been on my shelf for a long time. I'm glad you liked it. I really need to pull it down and read it.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I've had my eye on this one for awhile. Bummer about the R rating, but thank you for being honest about it. I like knowing those things ahead of time.

Jaz said...

Please say which character you didn't like? I have some guesses ...