I LOVED this story. I could not put it down. I was incredibly unproductive all day on my day off, and did nothing but read. I loved the way the book put you into the center of each character's life. I felt I was in 1898. I felt each character's feelings, and saw from their eyes their views and the reasons that they made the choices that they did.
I cannot wait to receive the sequel, and am also looking forward to the last book in the trilogy.
I loved this book! It is set in the early 1900's when people were immigrating to the US and starting their life over or anew. The characters are rich and many layered.
The trials and the work ethic of the people is inspirational. This author is descriptive in a way that is not overly done. There is love, death, suspense and all of the good things a novel should have.
The book is set in East London 1888 and centers around the life of a poor, young woman who works in a tea factory. Her life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man destroy everything and everyone she holds dear. Fearing for her life, she flees to New York where she rises from a small shop owner to the top of Manhattan's tea trade. But, her ghosts won't let her relax until she has her revenge. She returns to London to silence her enemy in a deadly confrontation.
This book may sound a bit corny, but it's incredibly good. The description on the back cover doesn't include that a major theme in the book revolves around Jack the Ripper and his gruesome murders. This book is so well written that I read half of it in one night and had to force myself to put it down. There are no slow parts, and the main characters are well developed. The central character, Fiona, has both the worst luck and best luck in life. Unless you live a sheltered life, you will surely be able to identify with Fiona because the problems she encounters and survives could happen in real life to anyone. Feel free to email with any questions. ~LeAnn
I actually enjoyed this book much more than I expected. I dreaded romance - you know, the heaving bosom and throbbing manhood kind based on some other reviews I read somewhere. It wasn't that bad - there are a few love scenes, but I skimmed them pretty quickly.
It's an enjoyable story - set in my two favourite cities of New York and London. I questioned some historical accuracies on the NYC side, but I was too lazy to go look them up to confirm. One thing that made me laugh was Joe meeting the Ferrara brothers on the boat to America. The Ferraras were bound to Little Italy and were going to make ice cream. I *love* the ice cream (gelato) from Ferraras in NYC! The one thing I didn't like about the book was how the mystery of Jack the Ripper was solved - oh come on! ...and I'm the bloody Queen of England!
This heartwarming tale begins working-class London where our main character Fiona lives and works. Born into a hard working Irish family, Fiona works long hard hours packing tea at Burton Tea, a major company that her father also works for as a dock worker. The Finnegans are hard working honest folk who are just trying to scrape by in life, but Fiona and her beau Joe dream of bigger and better things for themselves. Determined to open their own shop together and marry, they save every penny they can to get the money to finance their dream life together.
Life takes a turn for the worse however when Fiona's father Paddy joins the Tea Union. Disaster befalls the Finnegans when an "accident" changes their lives forever. Now struggling to make ends meet Fiona and her family are suddenly thrust into poverty, and to make matters worse Joe makes a horrible mistake that causes him to have to leave Fiona forever.
Distraught by grief, Fiona goes to Mr. Burton, the owner of the company she works for to plead for some money to help her family. While at the factory however, she overhears a conversation that she shouldn't have...a conversation that could cost her her life.
Desperate, Fiona grabs up her little brother and heads for America and her Uncle's shop in New York City. She's in for a shock when she gets there however, her Uncle's shop is going up for auction in a few short months. Determined to pursue her dream, Fiona reopens her Uncle's shop and seeks her fortune. But the ghosts of her past still haunt her and are slowly pulling her back to London to seek revenge...
"The Tea Rose" kept me riveted from the very first page. "The Tea Rose" is full of vivid historical fiction from two different countries, England and the U.S. Donnelly creates a vivid picture of two very separate worlds: The working poor, and the elite society.
I felt a deep connection with the main character of Fiona. I felt pain when she did, cried with joy with her, and wanted to leap from my chair when she triumphed. Admittedly this book would be classified as a "chick book." A deep-seeded romance is the true heart of this book, and though irksome at times really brought all of the characters together and kept the story moving at a good pace.
I honestly have no complaints about "The Tea Rose." I loved everything about this book and I didn't want it to end. All lovers of historical fiction have to read "The Tea Rose!" If you don't you are truly missing out. I will definitely be reading more of Jennifer Donnelly in the future!
One of the best pieces of historical fiction that I have ever read. A poor Irish girl who has lost everything works her way up in the world, determined to right the wrongs of her past and build a new future. It's both heartbreaking and inspiring, with characters that jump off the page.
This was well plotted during the first half and the author did a wonderful job of recreating 1880s London, particularly the Whitechapel area. Unfortunately, the second part of the book is pretty unrealistic. There are too many cute coincidences and the heroine is just about perfect.
This was a good rags to riches story. In my opinion, though, the ending was spoiled because it was so predictable and lapsed into a soap opera finish that even I could predict. On the other hand, I loved it up until that point! Genny Sikes
I'm not much into murder mystery, but this book is the exception. It's a fabulous story! Reads like a good movie with twists and turns in every direction. It's the long way around "boy meets girl, falls in love, lives happily ever after". There is a great twist at the end, that I never saw coming. Great book! Loved it!*****
THE TEA ROSE, by Jennifer Donnelly, is set in London in 1888; the heroine is an Irish girl from the slums, but her whole family is close-knit and very hard working. Jack the Ripper figures prominently in this story. Fiona, the Irish heroine, tragically loses her family and everything they possess because of a brute of a rich man who owns the tea factory in which both she and her da work. She has to take her only remaining family member, a very young brother, and flee London for New York to escape the brutish tea company owner. She's only seventeen and had never before been out of her own neighborhood. But she's gritty and determined. It's a wonderful story; almost an epic - about 758 pages. It grabs your attention from the first page and holds it. I loved this story and the wonderful, fully-fleshed characters who seem so real. I look forward to reading the sequel, THE WINTER ROSE.
I really didn't think I'd like this book. It's long at 550 pages, set in late 1800's England & is romantic fiction - so not my thing. I was wrong. It took about 30 pages to suck me in and if I would have had the time, I would have read it straight through. The story was engaging and exciting! The main characters were likable and the story was thought-provoking & emotional. There were twists & turns and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. It was truly hard to put it down and engaging enough that I would dream about it at night! The author has two more in the series which I'll be ordering today!
Jennifer Donnelly became an author's name to remember after a few pages of getting into "The Tea Rose". What a great book! I absolutely fell into the depths of this story and there was no getting out, I followed on to the second and third, "The Winter Rose", and "The Wild Rose". Tea Rose, being the first was also the best, and it's a hook, line, and sinker read. Engrossing, full of the old world charm and depravity and poverty of late 1800's London. Every page was alive with the sights, the sounds, the smells and the challange of living in this formidable world. The Characters were so full of energy and life, you will think you met them..indeed, know them. This book is a true charm, a real keeper, and you will want to read all three.
This epic read is outstanding. I cannot give it five stars but would give it 4.5 in a heartbeat. The story of Fiona Finnegan and Joe Bristol makes for a wonderful read. It's a romance in many ways but it also leads the reader into the lives of others whose lives are entwined with Fiona and Joe. People like Nick, Michael, Teddy, Will and more Americans get to know Fiona while Joe has his own supporters in England. The stories seem about to blend together time and time again but do not until near the end.
The actions of cruel and manipulating people drive the actions of Fiona, particularly. Both Joe and Fiona are determined to make the lives of those they love (friends and family) better as well as share their wealth with those less fortunate than themselves. Fiona is driven not only by a need to succeed but a need for retribution not revenge for the death of her father and other family members. The author keeps the story moving easily so the reader is not tempted to put the novel aside. One can find faults in any novel but I will not list any here. All I can say is read this wonderful novel and enjoy it for what it is. It's a great read.