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The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
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The Wild Rose (2011)

by Jennifer Donnelly

Series: Rose (3)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Although I wasn’t too keen on the first two books in this trilogy—The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose—I picked this one up hoping my mind had changed. Each book in the story offers a different perspective on one family at the turn of the century; this book begins just before WWI and focuses on Seamie and Willa. I think the story is meant to be fast-paced and give the reader a good overview of early 20th century history, but the story lines were so unrealistic and predictable that I had a hard time finishing the book. There were so many characters and coincidences that the book got pretty convoluted after a while. The characters’ dialogue also didn’t seem era-appropriate. This might be a good book if you’re looking for a period romance, but be prepared to suspend disbelief at the plot and characters. ( )
  Kasthu | Jan 7, 2015 |
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 |
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Epigraph
It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. - Sir Edmund Hillary
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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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