Friday, September 2, 2011
The Winter Rose - Jennifer Donnelly
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Published: 2008 (first published in 2006)
Genre: Historical fiction
It has been twelve years since a dark, murderous figure stalked the alleys and courts of Whitechapel. And yet, in the summer of 1900, East London is still poor, still brutal, still a shadow city to its western twin. Among the reformers is an idealistic young woman named India Selwyn-Jones, recently graduated from medical school. With the help of her influential fiance--Freddie Lytton, an up-and-coming Liberal MP--she works to shut down the area's opium dens that destroy both body and soul. Her selfless activities better her patients' lives and bring her immense gratification, but unfortunately, they also bring her into direct conflict with East London's ruling crime lord--Sid Malone.
India is not good for business and at first, Malone wants her out. But against all odds, India and Sid fall in love. Different in nearly every way, they share one thing in common--they're both wounded souls. Their love is impossible and they know it, yet they cling to it desperately. Lytton, India's fiance, will stop at nothing to marry India and gain her family's fortune.
Fractious criminal underlings and rivals conspire against Sid. When Sid is finally betrayed by one of his own, he must flee London to save his life. Mistakenly thinking him dead, India, pregnant and desperate, marries Freddie to provide a father for hers and Sid's child. India and Sid must each make a terrible sacrifice--a sacrifice that will change them both forever. One that will lead them to other lives, and other places...and perhaps--one distant, bittersweet day--back to each other. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I really enjoyed it, to put it bluntly. It was one of those books that gripped you that made you stay up later reading than you really wanted to. The characterizations of the characters was enjoyable, but really didn't see myself liking the youngest member of the Finnegan and felt that the author spent a little too much time with him during the final part of the book instead of focusing on the India storyline, even though I realize that Seamus' story is the focus of the final book. I hope that the final book is just as good as the first two books.
Recommended for those that loved the first book, The Tea Rose, and for those that enjoy historical fiction.
11529 / 15000 pages. 77% done!