Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Early Review of The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose #3) by Jennifer Donnelly

  • Title: The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly 
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
  • Format: Hardcover, 640 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401301045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401301040
  • Notes:  I read the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book. The book will be published on August 2nd.

Eight years ago Willa Alden had it all. She was on a climbing expedition (climbing being her passion) with the man she loved beside her. In a moment, everything changed. Tragedy struck, and an accident claimed her leg and almost her life. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, in the rage of passion, or in the midst of an uncontrollable sadness or anger a person may say something they would otherwise never have thought or said. The latter was Willa's case. Devastated by the realization she would never be able to climb the peaks she so loved, she lashed out at her soul mate, Seamus Finnegan -  Seamie, for saving her. Feeling he should have let her die, rather than let her live a life in which she could not pursue her passion, she left him. Almost immediately upon stepping on a train, she realized what she'd done. Sometimes a person may wish they could take back the cruel words they utter, but facing the one they said them to and the possibility of not being forgiven, well, it seems like an utterly impossible thing to do.

Flash forward  to present day. The year is 1914. England is on the cusp of WWI, the South Pole has recently been discovered, and women still do not have the right to vote. Willa's father is dying, and she will finally need to deal with the man she left over eight years ago. The world is about to change and no one will be left unscathed by it.

This book will  engage all  your emotions. You'll find yourself laughing, crying, smiling, and sighing. Given from different vantage points so you can know what is happening to the main characters, there are twists and turns.While the story does include a romance, it does not define the book, hence, I listed it as both Historical Fiction and Historical Romance. Donnelly explored the era and paints an informative view of what was going on at the time. There are spies, political struggles, and glimpses of a world in the midst of change.

Willa was my favorite character. Able to make it in a man's world when women were not highly regarded, I kept waiting to hear what would happen to her next. Forcing myself not to jump ahead to the next chapter or chapters that would bring me back to her portion of the story was difficult.

The book is wonderfully written. I was impressed by the seven pages worth of bibliography the author listed at the end. I did not read the previous two books, but did not feel lost because of it. This is a book I HIGHLY recommend.  I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. I now have the first two books on hold at my local library and will hopefully find time in the next couple of busy months to read them. While you could read this one without the benefit of the previous two books, I feel I need to go back and read the stories of the other characters who were in this book, but not the focus of it. I would like to know their histories as well. This is another book I'll need to buy the hard copy of to add to my keeper shelf. Thank you Hyperion for allowing me to be one of the first people to read this ARC.

Previous books in the series:
The Tea Rose: A NovelThe Winter Rose 
1. The Tea Rose: A Novel
2. The Winter Rose

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