Thursday, May 15, 2008

Review - The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

I can't remember the last time 700+ pages flew by this quickly...

India Selwyn Jones is a recent graduate from medical school in London, young and eager to change the world. She has dreams of opening a free clinic for poor mothers and children in Whitechapel, not understanding the true horrors of poverty that accompany life in that neighborhood. One night she treats Sid Malone, the notorious but charming gangster, and her life changes forever. He shows her what life is really like in Whitechapel, encourages her in her quest to help the people that live there, and eventually becomes her love. Somewhat predictable confusion and mayhem ensue, as we certainly can't leave the couple happily ever after at page 400, and eventually everyone winds up in Africa to bring the relationships to resolution.

I found this book to be a lot of fun - having previously read The Tea Rose, I enjoyed catching up on the lives of Joe, Fiona, and Seamie, and was pleasantly surprised by the resurrection of brother Charlie. Fiesty new characters (Ella, Willa, and Gemma), and delightfully evil villians (Freddie Lytton and Frankie Betts) are welcome additions to the cast. The main characters, India and Sid, are slightly predictably stock, but it doesn't seem to matter in this story which is just plain fun. I certainly hope Donnelly revisits this family again - I just have to know the story of Seamie and Willa! Historical fiction with a lot of romance and some exciting adventure thrown in - I'm certainly glad to have read this novel. Thanks Early Reviewers for a great opportunity!

Finished: 01/05/08
Rating : 8/10
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers program

1 comment:

J. Kaye Oldner said...

I totally fell in love with Donnelly after reading this book! I'm hoping to read THE TEA ROSE soon too.

Anyway, it's so nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping off at my blog and leaving a message. I'll add your blog to my Google Reader and drop by often. :)