Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

This is the book that I am submitting for the August TBR challenge. As soon as I heard that this book was being written it was on my TBR list. It is the sequel to The Tea Rose, which I read and loved last year.

It's 1900 and the East End of London is a dangerous place for a woman doctor at a time when such thing is rare. But India Selwyn Jones, beautiful and headstrong, sees a real need for her knowledge in the back streets where women are dying of hunger and overwork.

It is in an opium den that India meets one of London's most notorious gangsters: Sid Malone - violent, criminal and also devastatingly attractive. India finds herself, against her will being drawn ever closer to him, enticed by the flashes of a softer side beneath his gruff exterior.

The Winter Rose brings the beginning of the twentieth century vividly to life, drawing the reader into its underworld, its society and the shadows where the strict rules of the time blur into secret passions.

Title: The Winter Rose

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Year published: 2006 (although I don't think it is out in some parts of the world until 2007)

Why did you get this book? I read The Tea Rose last year and really liked it. As soon as I heard that there was going to be a sequel it was on my TBR list. There is actually going to be a third book as well, but I guess I should wait until there is a title for that one before I start getting too excited!

Do you like the cover? Yes I do. The cover for The Tea Rose was pretty nice too. It was pretty hard to track down a picture of this cover though. Much harder than usual!

Did you enjoy the book? Yes, yes and yes!! In fact I think it was a better book than the first one!

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? I have read most of Jennifer Donnelly's books, including her YA book, A Gathering Light (which was published as Northern Lights in some places). This is the second book in a trilogy. I guarantee that I will be reading the third book when it comes out!

Are you keeping it or passing it on? I wish I could keep it....I really do, but it was a library book so I much return it. I am really thinking very hard about getting both books to keep though.

Anything else? Well I could gush and gush, but I will try and control myself and say that this was an extremely entertaining read. If anything, it is a better read than the first book in the series. It has it all - adventure, complex characters, history, romance!

It has sparked a train of thought in my brain about the nature of Historical Fiction though. In my mind there are two main areas of historical fiction - where the characters are all actual people and the author has predominantly real characters telling the story (Sharon Kay Penman is excellent at this) and then there are those books where the setting is historical, with the vast majority of the characters being fictional (albeit based on real people) with those fictional characters interacting with real characters from history. This book falls into the latter, as do books like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I wondered to myself if I prefer one type over the other. I think there are probably a few historical fiction aficionados out there who would say that you should prefer the first of these two, but you know what...I am happy to read either as well as they are well written and entertaining and capture my attention.

I can safely say that my attention was caught, and therefore I am giving this a rating of 5/5! That's first 5/5 for the WHOLE year!

Other blogger's thoughts:

Chris from Book-a-rama



  1. A 5/5, wow! You are very strict on your 5/5, so it must have been a good book!

  2. It was very good...but I would highly recommend reading The Tea Rose first!

  3. OMG is that the sequel to The Tea Rose I see??? I LOOOOOVED that book. I have to get it. Have to. HAVE TO. Oh wow. Must reread The Tea Rose first. Oh you have made my day!

  4. It is! It is the sequel!!!! But you may have a while to reread The Tea Rose as this book apparently doesn't come out in the US until September next year!

  5. Yeah, that's mean, we have to wait OVER a year. Mind you, I haven't read the first one, but still

  6. Oh I'm so sad. I want to read it now. Why oh why must we wait SO long?? I could cry!

  7. oh man now I'm intrigued. ugh. I need to add this to my wishlist!!! lol great review as usual. (^_^)

  8. I am reading the first one now...

  9. Whoohooo! I'm with Heather. I can't wait for this to hit the shelves next year. I LOVED The Tea Rose. Bought all my friends copies for Xmas the year I read it. Wonderful, wonderful book. Thanks for the heads-up. Now if I can only remember... ;)

  10. A wonderful review -- very thoughtful and right on the "money"
    as we say in the USA -- so, yes,
    the book will not come out here
    until 2007 or 2008 ---- but, I
    ordered it from the UK -- the
    shipping charge was not to heavy,
    and since I am the hugest fan of
    THE TEA ROSE, I simply devoured
    THE WINTER ROSE - -- I agree with
    Heather, if possible, THE WINTER
    ROSE is even better. Not one
    slow moment in the whole big, fat
    wonderful, satisfying, exciting,
    BOOK. Have fun reading it!!!!!
    I did.

  11. I agree with the 5/5 rating. I just loved this book! :)

  12. I'm going to read the review you wrote, sounds good, and I liked A Gathering Light.



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