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Winter Rose, The
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Product Description

It has been twelve years since a dark, murderous figure stalked the alleys and courts of Whitechapel. And yet, in the summer of 1900, East London is still poor, still brutal, still a shadow city to its western twin. Among the reformers is an idealistic young woman named India Selwyn-Jones, recently graduated from medical school. With the help of her influential fiance--Freddie Lytton, an up-and-coming Liberal MP--she works to shut down the area's opium dens that destroy both body and soul. Her selfless activities better her patients' lives and bring her immense gratification, but unfortunately, they also bring her into direct conflict with East London's ruling crime lord--Sid Malone.

India is not good for business and at first, Malone wants her out. But against all odds, India and Sid fall in love. Different in nearly every way, they share one thing in common--they're both wounded souls. Their love is impossible and they know it, yet they cling to it desperately. Lytton, India's fiance, will stop at nothing to marry India and gain her family's fortune.

Fractious criminal underlings and rivals conspire against Sid. When Sid is finally betrayed by one of his own, he must flee London to save his life. Mistakenly thinking him dead, India, pregnant and desperate, marries Freddie to provide a father for hers and Sid's child. India and Sid must each make a terrible sacrifice--a sacrifice that will change them both forever. One that will lead them to other lives, and other places...and perhaps--one distant, bittersweet day--back to each other.

Customer Reviews:

  • Amazing Continuance of the Fiona Finnegan Saga
    I had been desperately waiting for my chance to read The Winter Rose as soon as I finished The Tea Rose. I ending up waiting about two years! I am happy to say the wait was well worth it.

    At first, I wasn't completely taken by the character of India, but once I got into the book I grew to like her and root for her happiness. This book is not what I expected, which is completely okay because I loved it all the same.

    I just finished the book mere hours ago and I am sad to be done with it. I love (almost) all the characters in the stories and seceretly wish the stories would never end. Thats why I am so glad there is going to be a third book!...more info
  • Not as good as The Tea Rose...
    I was hoping this book would be as enjoyable as The Tea Rose, but it's not quite. I think it's too long and the story is unfocused. I'd have preferred the story to focus more on India and leave out the characters from the previous book. It's not only long, it FEELS long when you read it. I do think Donnelly's research is great and she tells a good story when she gets going. I just don't think this one quite measures up....more info
  • An enjoyable sequel
    I read The Tea Rose last year and when I heard that there was a continuation in the series, I couldn't wait to read it.

    I was glad to see Fiona and Joe Bristow make a reappearance in this book. After all the angst and drama they suffered through in The Tea Rose, they deserve to be happy. However, their lives are not perfect and they still face challenges.

    I liked India Selwyn Jones as the heroine as much as I liked Fiona Finnegan in the first book. Jennifer Donnelly has the ability to make noble heroines without making them annoyingly perfect. They have flaws and often must suffer the consequences of their impulsiveness.

    Sid Malone is a great hero. After years of being a victim of circumstance, he takes control of his life and rises to the top. Unfortunately, he rises to the top of a crime ring. Still, his compassion and caring for the people of Whitechapel, who are crippled by abject poverty, is admirable and I liked him a lot.

    My only problem came when the setting of the story switches from London to the plains of Africa. It felt a little bit strange to me but that may be because I so enjoyed seeing Sid & India help the people of Whitechapel.

    I still enjoyed the story quite a bit. This series is great for lovers of historical fiction....more info
  • Decent follow-up to The Tea Rose
    The Winter Rose is the story of India Selwyn-Jones and her lover, the fugitive from justice Sid Malone. The book is a continuation of The Tea Rose, starring the Finnegan family, and it follows the main characters through the underworld of turn-of-the-last-century London.

    The bad: The good guys are too good and the bad guys, personified in India's fianc¨¦ Freddie, are too bad. India seems as though she's a 21st-century woman in 19th-century garb. The writing is over-the-top and unbelievable at times, and it sounds as though the author cut-and-pasted it from a romance novel. Its too much of an epic, and I felt as though Donnelly tried to bite off too much.

    Still, in spite of all this, I found myself turning the pages rapidly. Donnelly knows how to keep the action fast-paced, and she keeps her readers hooked, not knowing what's going to happen next. Recommended for readers who liked The Crimson Petal and the White.
    ...more info
  • Prepare to lose some sleep
    Wow! This is one of those books. You know the ones. The book you can't put down at 2 o'clock in the morning, even though you know the baby's going to be wide awake at 7:30. I read "The Tea Rose" first and absolutely loved it. I'd highly recommend reading that one first, as the characters are continued in this story and they'll mean so much more to you if you know them already.

    Donnelly does such a wonderful job of creating characters you'll love and spinning stories that keep you on the edge of your seat. I could hardly wait to read what was coming next. The good guys aren't completely perfect, and the villains aren't completely evil -- or at least they didn't start out that way. It's that complexity of characters that made me feel like I was reading about real people and not some two dimensional author's creation.

    Set mostly in historical London, Donnelly also does an amazing job of portraying the terrible conditions in Whitechapel in both books. It's uplifting to see the main characters work so hard to make life better for Whitechapel's citizens and succeed in many ways.

    Towards the end, I just couldn't imagine how everything would resolve itself, and I love that about a book. I love to be surprised and must admit that I was so touched at places that it drew tears.

    I'd recommend this book to anyone.

    (review by Mrs. Scott)...more info
  • 5 for fee
    Well i really am not with it b/c i bought this book on the premise that i'd liked The Tea Rose, so I'm sure I'll like the Winter Rose with out realizing that it was a sequel. So I received a greater gift from this novel learning that it was a sequel and better yet, the 2nd in a trilogy!
    Loved the wild ROMP through the early 1900's. Never a dull page. Enjoy....more info
  • the best book so far
    I really love this book and it has made it to my collection of books to re-read again and again, I can't get enough of the characters and the way the story centers on them. I got this first from the library and really like it so much that I bought the book, I don't always buy books since I can just get it from the library, but this book made me want to buy it. I just love the story of sid and india, the modern day equal of romeo and juliet, their love is all they had, so far the best book ever...more info
  • Truly touching
    Aristocrat India Selwyn Jones dares to live her life according to the dictates of her heart. While she is raised in a society that breeds women to marry important men, bear their heirs and manage their homes and their social lives, India knows there is more to life than the next dinner party or a new ball gown. She attends the London School of Medicine for Women against the wishes of her family and becomes a doctor in 1900s London, when the only women in the medical profession are nurses.

    Caring and compassionate India chooses to start practicing medicine in Whitechapel, a down-and-out area of London where the poor and the desperate fight to stay alive. The ideals she possesses when she begins her career soon fade as reality intrudes, and India is quickly enlightened as to the ravages of poverty and hopelessness.

    India butts heads immediately with her supervising physician who refuses to "waste" chloroform on women in childbirth. To do so would interfere with God's will since birth pains are, in his opinion, good for them. Another issue arises when India desires to distribute birth control to women who are worn out from having too many children too close together. It takes but a short while to see what she's up against.

    While the chances of India and gangster Sid Malone crossing paths would have been miniscule a mere matter of months before, when Sid is injured and near death, India treats him and saves his life. Although she abhors everything the man stands for, she can't help but be drawn to him as he hovers near death. Saving his life and talking with him as he recovers builds a strong bond between this couple from different backgrounds.

    In addition to her dedication to her career, India is also committed to marrying childhood companion and confidante Freddie Lytton, an up-and-coming member of the House of Commons. Freddie adds his protestations to those of India's family and applies as much pressure as possible to get India to set a wedding date. After all, India is a woman of means, and Freddie needs money to finance his political career. Unfortunately for India, she has no idea to what lengths Freddie will go in order to secure her and her fortune, and separate her from the new life and the man she has come to love.

    THE WINTER ROSE, the second installment of a trilogy that started with THE TEA ROSE, is a beautiful, emotional and memorable tale. Familiar and beloved characters from the previous book play a big part in this one, and readers of THE TEA ROSE will be eager to find out what they are doing now. Its 700 pages flew by as I kept turning them one after another, lost in the story of these characters I came to know and love.

    I read voraciously, and while most books entertain or amuse me, THE WINTER ROSE truly touched me. India and Sid captured my attention and my heart. Their joys were my joys, their heartaches were my heartaches, and I was spellbound by this couple and their adventures right up until the last page.

    --- Reviewed by Amie Taylor...more info
  • Not as good as "The Tea Rose"
    I didn't care for this book after reading "The Tea Rose." This one seemed to concentrate more on violence and it was a little hard to follow. Hopefully her third book in the trilogy will be better...more info
  • Sweeping Epic
    I read Tea Rose a long time ago when it first came out and I enjoyed that one so much. It is with great anticipation that I picked this one up and started reading it. It is so different from Tea Rose. Maybe I am older now and have a different reading taste than I did then. I am not sure what it is, but I do not love this book like its prequel. Don't get me wrong, this is still a good story. In fact, when I finally got over the hump of this book, I couldn't put it down. My kids were content to play near me while I read this book (that doesn't happen very often) and I was able to read while they were snuggling up on the couch with me while watching their movie. I literally could not put the book down till just before bedtime. But the book did drag for a long period of time and that makes me think that it could have been edited better.

    This story is about India, a daughter of one of the richest noble families in England, and Sid Malone, Fiona's brother (Fiona was the main character in Tea Rose). India had just graduated medical school and was entering a practice with one of the esteemed doctors in Whitechapel, the poorest of the poorest slums in London. Sid is the king of the underground life. India saves his life and in spite of being engaged to an old friend, she falls in love with Sid and their love story sets the motion for the rest of the novel. Old characters like Fiona and Joe, Seamie are brought into this novel with their own individual stories and new characters were introduced.

    This novel spans not only London but also Africa (it kind of reminds me of the movie, "Out of Africa") and it spanned hopes, dreams and broken hearts. It is an epic story of the times of the new 20th century. If you like historical fiction, this one is definitely for you. If you just like a good novel rich with storytelling, this one is for you. Be warned though, once you pick up this novel, you will be hooked and will not be able to stop till the last page has been turned.

    2/15/08

    ...more info
  • Great Read
    I read The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly a couple years ago and loved it. I was excited to read The Winter Rose and was not disappointed. I enjoyed her first book better, but this one is definetely worth reading. I really enjoy the authors writing style and her stories are fascinating....more info
  • interesting late Victorian romance
    Twelve years may have passed since the Whitechapel serial killings (see THE TEA ROSE), but time does not heal all wounds; as East London remains a slum. On a positive note, idealistic reformers want to make things better for the impoverish masses residing there.

    With the help of her fianc¨¦, M.P. Freddie Lytton, recent medical school graduate Dr. India Selwyn Jones opens a practice in Whitechapel tending to the ailing poor especially addicts, but with her goal being the closing of the opium dens. Resident crime chieftain Sid Malone detests these outsiders who think they are better than the locals. He wants this Good Samaritan and all her reformist ilk to leave the neighborhood as their type of good in his mind causes more harm. Besides they interfere with his lucrative businesses. However, he changes his mind about India when she saves his life. They fall in love, but Freddie wants control of India's fortune and will do anything to insure he gets it. When a pregnant India thinks her beloved Sid is dead, Freddie "gallantly" marries her.

    This is an interesting late Victorian romance that besides the subplot above contains what has happened in the dozen years since the events of THE TEA ROSE to key players like Joe and Fiona, who is Sid's sister and India's friend. The well written story line is character driven by a strong cast, although there is too much happenstance occurring to them. Still fans will enjoy catching up with the Bristows and others while reading about the star-crossed love between Charlie (Sid's real name) and India.

    Harriet Klausner

    ...more info
  • Finally...maybe some sleep for me!
    I finished this book early today after having started it 3 days ago. Thank heavens as I don't know how many more sleepless nights I could withstand. :) It has been many a year since a book has kept me up and reading till the very wee hours of the morning but this one surely did. I had thoroughly enjoyed The Tea Rose and looked forward with anticipation to this release. In my opinion Jennifer Donally has grown immensly as an author with this effort and it results in a novel that captivates and is nearly impossible to put down till one has read the last page. It was wonderful to find Sid, Joe and Fiona once again within these pages, even more deeply drawn than in the Tea Rose, but the introduction of India stole my heart even more. But even the 'very secondary' characters such as Willa and Maggie are fully fleshed out, real people with depth and immense interest to the reader. I was mesmerized, the attention to detail, the in depth views, the emotion of it all. Rarely does a sequel come near to matching an original. In this case.....it beats it. A truly wonderful read! I loved every page and hope her next book is not so long in coming....more info
  • A SEQUEL THAT'S FANTASTIC
    I wouldn't recommend reading this book unless you've read THE TEA ROSE, as this is a sequel and both these books are amazing! Fiona and Joe are brought back into this book, but the character, Dr. Indy Jones and her love for Fiona's brother, Charlie (leading a hidden life) are only a part of the hardships and struggles of the poor in Ireland and Indy is not afraid to enter dangerous areas, much like Fiona was. Both very determined women with dreams to fulfill. Wonderful characters that interact and blend to make this a fantastic read.

    If you could not put down A Woman of Substance, this is the book for you....you just don't want it to end and hope for a trilogy by Jennifer Donnelly. ...more info
  • Even better than the Tea Rose?
    Is it possible that The Winter Rose is even better than its prequel, The Tea Rose? Hard to say -- there's so much to love in both books!

    While the Winter Rose stands alone as a great read, Donnelly has done a masterful job of advancing the story of the Finnegan family and their friends, lovers, enemies, time and place(s). The story has gotten richer, more absorbing and more exciting. And she's laid the groundwork for what's sure to be a fantastic third book in the series.

    When is Hollywood going to make these amazing, epic stories into films? How great could they be? Just imagine the casting opportunities!!...more info
  • If you loved the Tea Rose, you'll love this book!
    I loved The Tea Rose, and this story was just as beautiful and engaging. While the prose may not be the highlight (a few too many sentence fragments--for emphasis-- in my opinion, and sometimes a bit sappy), the story is a gem. Donnelly has done her research; the historical allusions are accurate and interesting. The characters (some old favorites and some new) are complex and realistic. The Winter Rose is second in a trilogy, and I can't wait for "Rose" the third! ...more info
  • A Rose By Any Other Name....
    So I was sitting here, two weeks ago, trying to decide which book to read next. I had just pulled five off my shelves and figured I would read the Amazon reviews on each of these books and then decide which one to read. I searched The Winter Rose first and didn't get any further because many of the reviewers were saying words I've been waiting all year to hear...."has kept me up until the wee hours", "just made my collection of books to re-read", "I was hooked on the prologue" and "a sequel that lives up to its predecessor." Okay, I'm in, I thought to myself.

    I had already read The Tea Rose about six years ago and knew I had enjoyed it. I checked my reading journal and had given it 4 stars. So that made it a good book...not a great book...but definitely a good book. The only problem was that I had forgotten a lot of it so, before I started reading The Winter Rose, I went back and read the last chapter of The Tea Rose and it brought it all back to me.

    Let me preface this by saying that I love books set in the early 1900's and I especially love when the setting is England because the surrounding areas usually add a lot to the story. In this case, The Winter Rose did not disappoint. The author was very adept at making me feel the cobblestones in the street and the dampness in the air and everywhere else. I was able to catch up with characters from the prequel like Fiona, Joe and Charlie, whose name is now Sid Malone. Donnelly also introduces us to some new characters like India Selwyn Jones and some of her wealthier group of friends. India is much like Fiona was in The Tea Rose....very strong, capable of striking out on her own but, unfortunately, also failing in the "love" department.

    The story takes many turns and many of the characters end up in Africa. This is where it just became a little too contrived for me. Remember, this is 1900. Even today, how many people do you know go to Africa? Yet many of these characters coincidentally arrive on the same soil to finish out the story.

    Much has already been written here in other reviews concerning the storyline. It's a good book, the characters are all very endearing (save for one), the writing is excellent, but the story is nothing out of the ordinary. It's just a nice "700" page read. I actually give it 3 1/2 stars but I'm being generous and am rounding up to 4. On the other hand, The Tea Rose, was a solid 4 stars and I definitely enjoyed it more than The Winter Rose. The outcome of the book, however, leaves the author open to the third book in this trilogy and I'll definitely come back for another one if, for no other reason, than to spend some more time with Sid Malone. I just wish I had loved it as much as some of the other reviewers here. I'm still on the hunt for that great book of 2008....more info
  • Donnelly Does It Again!
    Jennifer Donnelly has done it again. Like its predecessor, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose is a rollicking good time - a page-turner so full of colorful characters and vividly drawn scenes and suspense and romance...it is impossible to put down. I sat down to read "for an hour" at 9:00 the other night and finally looked up at the clock to see that it was after 1 in the morning. I decided to read "just a few pages" this morning and ended up sitting there, riveted, until I finished the book - though it made me an hour late for work. I couldn't help it! I loved the characters and read as fast as I could, breathless, to see how it would all end. Donnelly is a master storyteller. This is a great book!...more info
  • Compelling look at London at the turn of the previous century
    Newly graduated doctor India Selwyn Jones wants to make a difference--working with the poor in the Whitechapel area of London. Her fiance Freddie appears supportive and she's lucky enough to secure a position with one of the few doctors who works with the poor. But her life is completely changed when master-criminal Sid Malone is injured and she ends up being the doctor responsible for bringing him back to life.

    At first, their relationship is difficult. Neither can understand the other, but there's a definite attraction that won't go away no matter how hard each rationalizes their feelings. Finally, the two become lovers and dream of running away from London, from Sid's life of crime.

    Freddie is currently a back-bencher in the British House of Commons, but he has big ambitions. And ambition requires two things--money and a cause. His cause is fighting crime in the same Whitechapel neighborhood where India works. His money is to come from marrying India. When he sees a chance for India to get away from him, he realizes that his prospects are in danger--and he'll do anything it takes to win her hand in marriage--with our without her loving him. As for himself, he's given up on the idea of love.

    Author Jennifer Donnelly creates a powerful vision of London at the turn of the previous century. Enormous wealth and the dying aristocratic system coexist with poverty, disease, and violence. Do-gooders like India see the problem and want to help, but often their ideas are misguided and impractical. Meanwhile, the ruling class plays games of power and begrudges any progress made by the poor. For India, Sid represents more than the great love in her life--he's also her path out of the stagnation of the self-absorbed upper class. For Sid, India represents all that he cannot have.

    (Warning--spoilers follow). Donnelly doesn't much nuance characters. India and Sid are good. Freddie is purely evil. Unfortunately, Freddie is also stupid--so stupid the only surprise is that he isn't caught before he is. I found it almost impossible to believe that India, having recognized that Freddie has already virtually destroyed her life and brought about the death of her great love, would decide that her only option was to marry him. If she is willing to throw herself on her family (which she had to be to get the money Freddie demanded), surely there were other men in London who would have agreed to marry her--and agreed to do so on far better terms than Freddie would offer. Even if not, thousands of women have gone abroad for a season and come back "widows." Freddie's decision to keep the clues that linked him to the murders he committed also seems difficult to believe. Even a fairly stupid criminal would realize that they could only damage him and would get rid of them. Finally, I thought Donnelly relied way too much on coincidence. The entire Africa segment of this story is one coincidence after another.

    Despite its flaws, A WINTER ROSE is a strong and strangely compelling story. The issue of poverty in the midst of plenty, the responsibilities of those with much, and the often perverse nature of true love show clearly through the telescopic distance of a hundred years while they are sometimes more difficult to see up close.
    ...more info
  • Major disappointment
    The book started out so well and promising that I couldn't believe the plot elements and drastic character changes that took place long after I got hooked on the story and the characters.

    I think it is one thing to change a heroine from a subjugated, humiliated door mat with zero self confidence to a free, unconventional and independent woman with a will of her own but quite another thing if it is the other way around. India starts as a free spirited, extraordinarily strong woman far ahead of her time but is then inexplicably turned into a meek, conventional doormat who prostitutes herself in the worst manner possible (in a figurative sense). She makes -knowingly and with her eyes wide open!!!-such a self destructive choice that I would have found it more consistent had she committed suicide because what she did was a slow sort of suicide anyway.

    Not only didn't I recognize the heroine anymore I completely and utterly loathed her. I wished that she would have been eaten away by a sand storm but alas no such luck for me... The worst thing for me was not even that the author basically killed off her main character (again in a figurative sense), the worst thing was that it was so completely unnecessary.

    The plot would have been perfectly fine if India had made another much more character-consistent choice. Besides another choice-any other choice!-would have been much more realistic. There were so many possibilities but the author chose the worst alley open to her. She completely dragged an actually lovable, admirable character through the mud. It drove me absolutely nuts.

    I would have given the book a five stars plus review before I got to the point where India betrayed all her ideals and what she believed in before but after that point of no return I would have liked to give it less than zero stars. Never has a book that I initially loved made me so mad and angry. But maybe exactly that was what made me so angry.

    The only redeemable thing about that book was that I found out a lot about the back story of Fiona which made me desperately wish that I had read "Tea Rose" instead of "Winter Rose". Her story was actually the only thing that kept me reading. Now, Fiona is the kind of heroine I like to read about. But India was one of the most insufferable heroines I ever encountered in a historical novel. I really wished she had been devoured by a tiger.
    ...more info
  • Loved it!
    Loved the Tea Rose, loved the Winter Rose...it's a book (series) I can (and do) read again and again. Absolutely love it!...more info
  • Awesome Victorian Epic
    This is the most enjoyable novel I have read in a long, long time and I am a voracious reader. Fabulous characters, a detailed and layered plot that keeps moving (even when you think it can't), emotional intensity that had me weeping, and outstanding historical information on early Victorian life in East London. I cannot recommend it highly enough!...more info
  • "Buy my fine parsley-o"
    It's very rare in Hollywood where the sequel is as good or better than the original...but not so in the literary world! Jennifer Donnelly hits one out of the park with her follow-up to The Tea Rose. In The Winter Rose we are taken back to London at the turn of the 20th Century and meet back up with Fiona and Joe and now, their children. Fiona still has her Tea business and Joe has decided to take up politics in order to help the working class from whence he came from.

    The other heroine of the book is India Jones, an independent young woman who has just graduated from Medical School and has dreams of opening a hospital for the poor women and children of Whitechaple. She soon crosses paths with Sid Malone and thus begins their relationship.

    Fiona's brother, Seamie has returned to London after leaving school - he has hopes of being an adventurer. I really liked reading about Seamie and his adventures - I hope there is more of him in the next novel.

    In The Winter Rose, we travel to London, Africa, Kilimanjaro and eventually California where the novel ends in the best, most romantic way ever! Get your tissues ladies!

    Donnelly is working on the third novel titled The Wild Rose, but there is not yet a release date. I'm not a very patient person, but I am sure this will be well worth the wait.

    Thanks for the beautiful story Jennifer!
    ...more info
  • Thrilling!
    Another winner from Jennifer Donnelly. She has created a wide-ranging tale that takes us from Whitechapel to Westminster to Kilimanjaro, populated with characters we can't help but be interested in. Some of them are old friends from The Tea Rose, others are new arrivals -- but all of them have stories to tell as Donnelly lets them free upon her expertly-crafted turn-of-the-century world. Part historical drama, part romance, part adventure, part thriller -- this book has something for everyone. It sweeps you up and takes you away....more info
  • Adventure, Heartbreak, and Romance
    After finishing The Tea Rose, I loved it so much that I started in on The Winter Rose immediately. Reading the sequal back to back to it's predecessor demands that it be one heck of a good story! I'm happy to report that this book did not dissapoint.

    Here we are introduced to India Selwyn Jones an up and coming doctor with big dreams of changing the world...or at least Whitechapel, the rough London slum. She ends up crossing paths with Sid Malone, the infamous mob boss, and falls headover heel's for the bad boy with a good heart. India and Sid's lives are linked to Fiona and Joe's (from The Tea Rose) and we see them pop in and out of the story.

    India and Sid have a rough start to their romance due to Sid's past and the huge difference in their backgrounds. They manage though and just as their love affair is getting off the ground, their world is shattered by Freddie, the ruthlessly ambitious politician who just happens to be India's childhood friend and former fiance. Just as it looks as if Freddie has won and Sid and India find themselves world's apart, we see that fate is not quite through with them yet...

    This beautifully written novel takes you from the London slums to the plains of Africa to the picturesque California coast. It has romance, adventure, and of course, an evil villian who mucks everything up. Freddie the villian is written very well, however, and his road from good to insanely bad is quite cleverly depicted. It also has lots of good period detail and the politics of the time.

    Although this novel was not quite as good as The Tea Rose, it was still amazing and I highly recommend it. I can't wait for the third book in this trilogy! 4.5/5 stars!...more info
  • We Need More Women Like India!
    I read this book without realizing that it was the second book of a trilogy. That said - you don't have to have read the first book to enjoy this one - it stands alone beautifully.

    India Selwyn Jones is such a strong character that you don't realize that the Finnegans are the family the trilogy is based on...I just went back and ordered the first book. I need to know more about Fiona & Joe and how their lives came together. Jennifer Donnelly's writing style is fluid and captivating...it gives you a storyteller's history of Victorian England.

    From her lush upbringing, to her work in the poorest slums of Whitechapel and her life as a diplomats wife in Kenya - this heroine displays all the qualities of the great women in history. This book brings to life the reality of society's expectations for a woman at the turn of century.

    Great summer beach book or winter rain day book!

    ...more info
  • Historical soap opera
    "Epic" is definitely the word to describe this novel--it would have been satisfying at half the length. By the end I felt it was somewhat poorly plotted--plodding here, exciting there, rushed somewhere else. The last 200 or so pages were full of tense moments and cliffhangers, which was very out of character for the rest of the book.

    Also, I had a hard time understanding the protagonist. India Selwyn Jones wanted so badly to be a doctor that she was cut off from her wealthy family and accepted a financially precarious existence outside her former social circle. You would expect her to be a strong female lead, but instead she was constantly buffeted by each and every male character, from her boss to her fianc¨¦ to her lover. She risked her job to distribute contraceptives to desperate women, but when a seriously telegraphed pregnancy finally hit her she literally destroyed her entire life for the benefit of her child. Incomprehensible! I also found the sex scenes too explicit and out of place, though they were relatively few and far between.

    On the other hand, the large cast of secondary characters was well drawn and very likable. They are what kept me turning 700+ pages. The sequel to The Tea Rose, this makes a fine standalone novel as well, though you may want to read more about Fiona when you're through--she seems much more interesting than India. Recommended if you're looking to be absorbed in a far-ranging story for the length of a hefty book....more info
  • Only if you like soap operas
    This is not a novel, it is an elongated soap opera. Stock chracters and stock plot. That the main woman character is a doctor at the turn of the century is the only thing it has going for it. ...more info
  • Winter Rose
    I enjoyed this book very much, although it was a touch unrealistic.

    I found Tea Rose more to my liking but I am looking forward to her third book of the trilogy....more info
  • Fantastic, if you like historical fiction!C
    I loved the Tea Rose. I was not disappointed with the sequel of the Winter Rose. I am looking forward to the next one. Keep up the good work, Jennifer Donnelly!...more info
  • A great historical romance
    Just finished reading this book. Apparently this must be a continuation to her book, "The Tea Rose", although you don't need to read that first because both books stand alone as complete novels. I first became interested in Ms. Donnelly's books when I read "The Northern Lights". She writes beautifully, her characters aren't just one dimensional nor two dimensional. She brings so much life to each and everyone of the characters in her books that I could empathize with all of them, even the secondary ones.

    I loved this book and could hardly put it down. It was over 700 pages but I finished it in two days.

    The only question I have is, Did India wear her glasses throughout the whole book? In the beginning, the writer always mentions the fact that she wore thick glasses and couldn't see well without them. After the first third of the book I wonder if she's still wearing them. Her character Sid makes several references to India's light grey eyes, the color of a seagull's wing.




    ...more info
  • Escape to Another Time
    I was a little apprehensive about reading this daunting 700 page novel for two reasons. First, I hadn't read the prequel, The Tea Rose. Secondly, this was the first historical romance novel that I have read. Despite these facts, I jumped into the book feet first, and when I did, I discovered that for the most part, it was worth spending weeks reading it. Some critics have called this book an early 20th century soap opera and I agree - I love soap operas, they help me escape from my reality.

    I enjoyed getting to know the characters and reading about adventures in England, Africa and America. In particular, I liked getting acquainted with the newly minted female physician, India Selwyn Jones and I enjoyed reading about her quest to find love. I look forward to reading Donnelly's next novel, The Wild Rose -I just hope it is more concise.
    ...more info
  • Winter Rose - Amazing Follow Up
    Of all the novels that I read in the past year, this one stood out. The story is fascinating with a wonderfully developed heroine. The author does a fantastic job in creating a very likeable heroine/hero. It's the 2nd book in the "tea" series and I could not have asked for a better follow up to the Tea Rose. I love the return of all the wonderful characters from the Tea Rose.
    This is an amazing love story with so many twist and turns. In the middle of the book, the author introduces a secondary love story that I could not have expected. At first I was really irritated because I just wanted to read about the main characters but then I got really into these secondary characters and fell in love with their story. You can tell that JD is preparing you for another novel. It's wonderful. The best part of the book is the love story between a very unlikely pair but it works. This book has great heroes, evil villains, and wonderful supporting characters. It's a complete book and one of my favorite novels of the best year. It's a true love story with a very unexpected ending. I read it not knowing how the story would unfold and it's wonderful...just beautiful. A must read for anyone who is a true romantic.
    ...more info
  • THIS BOOK D E L I V E R S !!!!!!
    Jennifer Donnelly - a masterful story teller - did it again.

    So, find a cozy corner, brew a pot of coffee or tea and loose
    yourself in a world of intrigue, betrayal, suspense and love --
    Root for India, a young idealistic doctor -- fall in love with
    the notorious Sid Malone - violent but devastatingly attractive -
    and despise the ruthless, aristocratic Freddy.

    This book is a wonderfully stuffed epic novel, think A WOMAN
    SUBSTANCE, THE THORNBIRDS, ETC.


    You may want to read THE TEA ROSE first - a much acclaimed book -
    and the first one in this trilogy. After you finish it, you will
    be so glad that there is THE WINTER ROSE waiting for you.







    ...more info
  • Plodding soap opera
    I could not finish this book. I am a physician, so I bought it based on the heroine being a physician in the 1900's. The medical parts were fascinating and gripping. But the book was just too long. India starts out strong but then crumples mid way when she finds out she is pregnant. The bad guy,Freddie, was just too bad to be believable. Half way through I could not get through all the agonizing plot twists and I skimmed to the end to find out how it concluded.I think this book started out strong but at least 200 pages could have been edited to make it a tighter read.The intermittent descriptions of graphic sex seemed more suitable to a romance novel than historical fiction.Overall a disappointment, however I seem to be the only reviewer who did not like the book, so this may be just my personal preference....more info
  • The Winter Rose
    Excellent reading. Characters well defined. Looked forward to reading more about the family everyday....more info
  • The Winter Rose
    Like The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose is another enjoyable story by Jennifer Donnelly. Once again, the characters are likable and the plot is compelling. In both The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose, if the reader can over-look the historical incongruities and vagaries of chance the story presents, they will be in for an epic-length treat.

    The Winter Rose picks up the story of Joe and Fiona Bristow a couple of years after we last saw them (in The Tea Rose). They are now starting a family while still working at growing both Fiona's Tastea tea empire and Joe's Montague Grocery chain. Additionally, Fiona is obsessed with making contact with her brother Charlie who, as we found in at the end of The Tea Rose, is not dead but who instead has taken on the identity of a local bully, Sid Malone.

    In this book we also get a chance to delve more into the story of Sid (Charlie) when he falls in love with a young woman doctor, India Selwyn Jones, and decides to leave the grifting life in order to make a new start with her in America. Sid and India soon find out how hard it can be to try to leave the crime world behind.

    Seamus Finnegan is also back in this novel. He quit school in order to join Scott and Shackleton on their Discovery expedition to the South Pole. After that adventure, his romantic attention is captured by a young female mountain climber who he accompanies on a climb of Kilimanjaro.

    I particularly enjoyed reading about a whole new set of characters while still getting a chance to check in with the cast of The Tea Rose to see where their lives have taken them since we last met. I also really enjoyed the villain, Freddie Lytton - pure evil with a gentile face. He really kept the story hopping....more info