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The Tea Rose: A Novel by Jennifer Donnelly

The Tea Rose: A Novel (original 2002; edition 2007)

by Jennifer Donnelly

Series: Rose (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,608924,518 (4.01)1 / 154
Title:The Tea Rose: A Novel
Authors:Jennifer Donnelly
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2007), Edition: 1, Paperback, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:love, betrayal, murder, revenge

Work details

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (2002)

  1. 20
    Katherine by Anya Seton (night_owl13)
  2. 10
    The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (vvstokkom)
    vvstokkom: Not only because it's a trilogy, but it are really beautiful love stories with an eye for detail for the time and place the story is situated.
  3. 10
    The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (night_owl13)

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English (85)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  French (2)  All (92)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
well i finished this big clunker. not sure why. very cheesy, unbelievable and two to three times longer than it needed to be. i think if id read this when i was 12 in the 70s, i would have enjoyed it. maybe. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 26, 2017 |
I have very mixed feelings about this book. After reading A Gathering Light I had great expectations of The Tea Rose but sadly it is not a novel of quality, merely a good yarn. Starting in 1888 the story moves from Whitechapel, London to New York. Heroine Fiona Finnegan, a poor worker in a tea factory experiences one tragedy after another until the dastardly villain causes her to run away to America. Believing she has been abandoned by her sweetheart, Joe, she teams up with kind, ineffectual aristocrat, Nick, and gradually moves from rags to riches.

I was very concerned by the vocabulary. No-one in London or New York would talk constantly of, “going to the Loo,” in the 1880s and “going for a date” and “brainstorm” were not words of that time either. There are many convenient happenchances and the murders of Jack the Ripper are included to tempt readers to pick up the book, but Jennifer Donnelly is at her best when using her own imagination to create an amazing twist in the plot. It is for this reason that I carried on reading to the end, though the melodramatic conclusion wasn’t really necessary.

So if you can suspend your disbelief and lose yourself in a tale of good and evil with a strong heroine, without questioning historical accuracy, then this is an enjoyable tale, but I won’t be continuing with this trilogy.
( )
  Somerville66 | May 29, 2017 |
I actually read the sequel to The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, when it first came out, and fell in love with everything about it. And so I bought this book way back then, but planned to stick it on a shelf and try to forget about it until I'd forgotten what I'd learned about the characters in the sequel, and could read this one fresh. I'm glad I did, and yet, I'm also a little glad it wasn't my introduction to Donnelly's work...

The truth is, the first part of this book is heartbreaking in that way where you're not even sure why you're reading after a certain point, or whether you want to keep going. I think I was about 120 pages in when I asked my husband to hand me the book as he passed by, and his response was: "This? The book that keeps making you cry? Nope." True, I'd been sobbing over it when he came home from work the night before. But, of course, I got up to retrieve the book myself.

Of course, some books make you cry for no reason, and just keep doing so. This isn't one of those. I adored this book. The character, the heartbreak, the humor, the spirit... I don't read historical fiction that often, but I adored this. I can't wait to read its sequel again, with fresh eyes and having read this.

If you read historical fiction, yes, read this. The beginning has sadness along with every other emotion, but the level of it doesn't continue.

Absolutely, recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | May 26, 2017 |
Just started this series by Jennifer Donnelly - listening to it on audible audio - definitely an interesting read - late 1800's in England - Jack the Ripper, the consequences of dock workers starting a union, the hardworking Irish family life style, the tea business and the dreams of a young couple all come to life in this book. Definitely a character driven book that keeps you routing for them until the last page. Book 1 of a 3 Book series. ( )
  booklovers2 | Nov 10, 2016 |
Fiona Finnegan is the eldest daughter of working class family in 1888 London. She works in the Burton Tea Factory filling tins with tea, dreaming of the day she and her boyfriend, Joe Bristow, can open their own shop. Her father becomes mixed up in unionizing Burton's and her mother accidentally runs into a notorious killer. This is just the first of many tragedies that will affect Fiona's life and future. She is forced to flee London, taking only her five year old brother Seamus. She decides to catch the first ship to America, where she will pursue her dreams, along with some revenge.

This is a big, epic story that reminded me of a larger than life soap opera. There's tragedy, revenge, and romance. I think there are a lot of historical inaccuracies here, but it didn't spoil the fun I had reading it. I started to think it was more of a historical romance than a family saga at some point, and while Fiona is portrayed as a woman who is determined to make it on her own, it's really rich men who help her overcome every obstacle. Nevertheless, I'm giving it a much higher rating than the Man Booker nominee I'm just finishing. Why? Because when Tea Rose was done I said, “I've got to pick up the next book in the series” and when I finished Hot Milk I said “thank goodness that's over”. Sometimes the brain just wants candy, not kale. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Oct 14, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Donnellyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tanner, JillReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clifford, Millysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Franco, Stefaniasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Felender, AngelikaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fochi, Luciasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kraan, HaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Satz, RebeccaTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light." -- Theodore Roethke
For Douglas, my own blue-eyed boy.
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Polly Nichols, a Whitechapel whore, was profoundly grateful to gin.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312378025, Paperback)

East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.

But Fiona's life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan's tea trade. But Fiona's old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Her family and dreams shattered by her father's untimely death at the hands of a ruthless tea baron, Fiona Finnegan flees East London and eventually establishes herself at the head of the tea trade in New York.

(summary from another edition)

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