Monday, July 13, 2009

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

There are many words to describe this book: Marvelous. Spectacular. Epic. To name just a few.

When I first started this book, I didn't think I'd end up loving it by the end. The pacing in the book was well done. It started up slow, but picked up by the end of part one and didn't let up.

The book had many flaws: Historical liberties, the unrealistic careers of both Fiona and Joe. There were also times when I was very frustrated. A few times I thought, "If Fiona and Joe miss each other by a second one more time...!" But none of these reasons warranted me to like it any less.

My favorite character was Nick, by far. I instantly loved him. He was clever, witty, full of life and - in my head - adorable.

It's been a long while since a book has brought tears to my eyes and this book has done it twice. In one instance I had to put down the book to compose myself before continuing.

The Tea Rose is an book of epic proportions, in every sense of the word. Taking place in the late 19th century in Whitechapel and New York, it has a host of unforgettable characters. With Donnelly's writing you can practically hear the characters talking in your head, accent and all.

Whether I had to put the book down to clap, curse, or cry, this book made me feel. And I can't remember the last time a book did that.

The Tea Rose is just the first in a trilogy telling the epic story of the Finnegan and Bristow families. The second novel The Winter Rose is also available. My review for that will be up soon.