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The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

The Wild Rose (2011)

by Jennifer Donnelly

Series: Rose (3)

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In this last book of the Rose trilogy, Donnelly doesn't disappoint. Along with sharing more news on the characters we grew to love in books 1 and 2, she embellishes on the lives of Willa and Seamus. These star-crossed lovers from book 2 find more than they'd bargained for when their paths cross once more in "The Wild Rose." When World War I breaks out, we're treated to scandal, spies, murder, and adventures that leave readers on the edge of their seats. "The Wild Rose" is a final tribute to the Finnegan family, and weaves all the pieces from the series into one satisfying conclusion. ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
The melodrama of the Finnegan siblings comes to a close in this third installment of the trilogy. I have to admit that while I'm satisfied with the ending, this did not rank as highly for me as the first book. Like the others, this one is well written & filled with lush detail. I liked Willa very much initially but there was so much back & forth with she & Seamie that I honestly began not to care (especially because I figured the formula for the prior two books would prevail & starcrossed lovers would get their happy ending). The happy ending is a bit more bittersweet for Seamie & Willa but it exists nonetheless. I had true care for Jennie but she lost me when she & Josie embarked on their scheme. I lost a lot of respect for Jennie & knew (per the prior two books) that the trope would play out in such a way that she would lose everything. So that, much like a lot of the story, was just waiting for the inevitable. There were also what have now in the series become, reliable conveniences to make things work out or not. This being the third installment & the mains being less endearing, it plays out as more unforgivable contrivance than the same did in "The Tea Rose". Also, there's enough reference to the happenings in the second book (& some of the first) that one really can skip the middle book & not miss much.

All that said, I did find this one more enjoyable than the second in the series. In the end, the "Rose" that could never be compared or magic recaptured was Fiona. Ingrid nor Willa ever matched my interest in her & Joe's story. I did like that Fiona & Joe were carried through in all the books, I think they provided a much needed anchor. ( )
  anissaannalise | Jan 1, 2014 |
The final in the "Rose" trilogy, and probably the weakest of the three. Despite this, it is still an engrossing read with a wide cast of characters and dealing with a goodly amount of issues, mostly centered around World War I, which sounds to have been complete Hell on Earth. However, the obsessive relationship between Seamus and Willa got a little too much at times - the fact that despite the events in their life and the time spent apart, neither could truly give their heart to another. This may be considered romantic by some, but to me it was impratical and somewhat unbelieveable, especially with the lovely Jennie in the mix. I found the conspiracies and the treacheries (of the war) and the lives of the other family members to be a far more rewarding experience than the mixed up emotions of love and selfish acts of the two main lovers. It is good to see appearances from Fiona and Joe (and their large brood), India and "Sid" along with the assorted other inlaws that we've grown fond of through this trilogy. However, it was an epic tome of a book that required far too much lugging around and took me longer to read than intended.

( )
  LemurKat | Sep 12, 2013 |
Wow. Donnelly's Rose books had a long wait time in between them (published in 2002, 2006, and 2011), but just a quick glance at the bibliography at the end of her last will give you a clue about the amazing amount of research that went into these books--and it was all worth it. The Wild Rose, like its predecessors, is a sweeping, epic drama that tells the story of its two main characters (Seamie Finnegan, the youngest Finnegan sibling, and Willa Alden--and if you've read book two, you were anxiously awaiting their story!) but also gives a rich and colorful look at the time in which it is set. It is so much more than just the story of those two people, so much more than just a family saga. The Wild Rose encompasses the years 1913-1919 and takes place on three continents--Europe, Asia, and Africa. We witness the struggle for women's suffrage as it rages in London, observe MPs in the House of Commons struggle between funding programs for British working class citizens or building up their Navy, and we see behind the scenes as a spy network flourishes behind the scenes, ferreting information between London and Berlin. We are heartbroken by the devestation of war not on the front, but with the families of men who don't come home--as well as those who do. For fans of the series, it's not to be missed. For those of us who haven't read The Tea Roase and The Winter Rose since their publication, she does do an excellent job of reminding us of the whos and whats we need to recall to make sense of the plot of this one, but if you haven't read the first two books in the series yet I strongly recommend doing so before tackling this one. You won't be sorry you did! ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 3, 2013 |
** The Wild Rose is the 3rd book in the Tea Rose Trilogy. There are slight spoilers for the previous two books in this review**

The Wild Rose continues on with the story of Willa Alden and Seamus Finnegan. By the end of The Winter Rose, Seamus and Willa have gone separate ways. Willa is bitter at having had her leg amputated after the Kilimanjaro climb went horribly wrong and blames Seamus. Seamus, meanwhile, is licking his wounds as he figures out how to deal with her. When The Wild Rose opens up not much has changed between the pair. Seamus is trying to continue on with his life in England, while Willa is off having a Pity Party of One up in the Himalayas.

Unlike the previous two books, where I was in love with the romantic pairing, I never found myself endeared to either Willa or Seamus. Willa comes off as a selfish, ungrateful brat. What I didn’t get is that she didn’t start out this way. In The Winter Rose, I had high hopes for her. She seemed like an intelligent, athletically strong young lady who wanted to keep up with the boys. I got that. But then the ill fated Kilimanjaro trip happened and Willa lost her leg along with the rest of her personality. She became this bitter character intent on placing blame on the most innocent person, Seamus. Her reason for becoming bitter? Because she could no longer climb. Now I could understand this to a certain point and was even a bit sympathetic to her in Winter Rose. However, it’s a few years down the line, chick has a new leg and climbing all over the Himalayas taking beautiful pictures, tracking out pathways for future climbers and hobnobbing with the Dalai Lama. I’m sorry Willa take your little violin and shove it up your pie hole! That “excuse” is no longer valid and blaming Seamie was plain stupid. I was over her excuses by the second chapter.

Seamie also wasn’t much better. A wannabe be debonair rogue charming the pantaloons off whatever women he came into contact with in an effort to forget Willa. I felt like shaking him, telling him to grow a pair and freaking communicate. For FFS, he can trek all the way to Antarctica, but he can’t trek to the Himalayas or send a letter letting Willa know he still loves her. Lame. Just plain lame.

So yeah, as you can tell from my rant in those two paragraphs I never really warmed up to this couple. I didn’t feel sorry for them. I couldn’t even relate. I didn’t feel anything towards them other than frustration at the lack of communication and self-pitying that the both of them did. What I loved about the other couples was that they were altruistic and loving. Unfortunately, Willa and Seamus only thought about themselves. Towards the end… when they finally got back together I didn’t really care. I thought they deserved each other as they’re both pretty damn selfish.

What made this book for me were the secondary characters. I loved getting to see what became of Fiona’s and Sid’s families. Fiona and Joe are my favorite pairing of the trilogy and they further charmed the pants out of me in this book. They’re just fabulously written characters and I love them. Even their kids, like Katie, are pretty awesome. I also loved Max von Brandt, who turned out to be a very complex character. Overall, it was these secondary storylines that kept the book moving for me. I do have to point out that Donnelly once again pulls out all the drama by having the characters hobnob with a ton of famous people and there are a lot of unrealistic scenes, but I expected this from reading the last two in the series and didn’t mind it at all.

I also have to say that I listened to the audio of this and it was fantastic. I thought Jill Tanner did a fabulous job of bringing the story to life.
( )
  Jaguar897 | Mar 31, 2013 |
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It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. - Sir Edmund Hillary
For Simon Lipskar and Maja Nikolic
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Did all English girls make love like a man? Or was it only this one?
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This is the third story in the series. Its prequels are Tea Rose and Winter Rose.
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In 1914, with World War I approaching, polar explorer Seamus Finnegan tries to forget Willa, a passionate mountain climber, as he marries a beautiful young woman back home in England.

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