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Review: The Tea Rose, by Jennifer Donnelly

I really did want to like this book, because I normally like historical fiction situated in the Victorian era.

The Tea Rose, altough well-written and extremely descriptive, didn't completely do it for me. For one thing, many of the things that occur in the story forced me to suspend my disbelief. Many of the events situations, and even people seemed contrived. It seemed unrealistic for working-class people to rise so fast in society, and for women to behave the way that Fiona did in this novel. It felt as though Donnely wrote about twenty first-century characters and then just placed them into a nineteenth century setting. Also, the villain in this piece seemed to be a caricature. I'm of the school that believes that historical fiction can deviate from events that actually took place, but that you have to make it seem realistic.

Another thing I didn't like were the jumps back and forth between two places--New York and London. I also didn't like how several people's stories never really ended--what happened to Seamie, for example? (we do find out in the next book, but it won't be published until next year; I only know because I've been reading an ARC of The Winter Rose).

I also recommend The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber.

Also reviewed by: Tiny Little Reading Room, Jackets and Covers

Comments

Marg said…
I liked The Tea Rose but there were a few too many coincidences. I loved The winter Rose though, and I will definitely be reading the third book in the trilogy when it comes out.
J. Kaye Oldner said…
I loved THE WINTER ROSE and have this book in my TBR pile.
Nicole said…
Is sounds disappointing. Do you think you'll go on to read the other books in the triology or give it up?
Katherine said…
I actually read the second book in the trilogy a while ago.

And there's a THIRD book coming ou? Goodness.

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2015 Reading

January
1. The Vanishing Witch, by Karen Maitland
2. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
3. Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg
4. Brighton Rock, by Graham Green
5. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
6. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
7. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
8. A Movable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
9. A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
10. Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote
11. Maggie-Now, by Betty Smith

February
1. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate, by Cynthia Lee
4. Music For Chameleons, by Truman Capote
5. Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
6. Unrequited, by Lisa Phillips
7. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
8. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather

March
1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
2. Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Miss Buncle's Book, by DE Stevenson
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garc…