Search This Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Winter Rose

Donnelly, Jennifer. The Winter Rose. (I'm really catching up on my Advanced Reader's Copies.) An enjoyable romance/historical novel that reads very quickly. India Selwyn Jones has just graduated from medical school and, eager to help those who most need her skills, joins a practice in Whitechapel, one of the poorest areas of London.

Like many of us who have high ideals and little exposure to the complexities of the problems, India finds that she must compromise to succeed and must acknowledge that good diets and cleanliness are almost impossible in extreme poverty. In her practice, India also comes in contact with the leader of the criminal element in Whitechapel, Sid Malone. Ahhh, here is that prickly love interest, worlds apart, but inevitably drawn together.

There are a lot of characters in this novel (some from Donnelly's previous novel) and Donnelly does a decent job of sketching them in. The likable characters are very likable, with strengths and weaknesses, but are not highly developed. I cared about India and Sid, but they never quite came off the page for me. The villain is completely one dimensional.

Much of the plot is typical of this type of novel, but there is something vibrant that pulls you along-- through the lives of the rich and the poorest of the poor, through the streets of the East End and beyond, through the heartaches and adventures. The next novel will evidently be concerned with Seamie and Willa and pursue the theme of The Tea Rose (which I've not read) and The Winter Rose--love, separation, reunion.

Fiction. Romance/historical. 2008. 707 pages.


  1. I think this is the third time I've heard of this book from somebody. I think it might be a sign that I need to read it lol!

  2. I've got this one waiting for me... Just have been so busy with other books that it's still sitting on my shelf. Sounds like it will be fun.

  3. Me too! I have it too and need to read it but thought I would read TEA ROSE first. Too many books!

  4. Ladytink -- The characters are likable, and it reads fast.

    Iliana -- I think a lot of people received this one!

    Kay -- The books have some of the same characters, but each one evidently focuses on one set of characters rather than one story that continues through the series.

  5. I enjoyed the Tea Rose, and am looking forward to this one as well. Glad to hear it was an enjoyable read, despite it's weakneses.

  6. I am looking forward to eventually reading this one. First I'd like to make my way through The Tea Rose though. I enjoy historical fiction, although I don't always make it a priority on my reading list. Thanks for the great review!

  7. Danielle -- Maybe I'll get around to reading The Tea Rose one day since so many people enjoyed it.

    L.F. -- I love historical fiction, but usually the historical romance isn't a priority. I'd characterize The Winter Rose as a historical romance, but I still enjoyed it.

  8. I'm a little over halfway through the book and am enjoying it quite well. Not great literature, but entertaining (and a step above "fluff"). So far, I'd have to say I enjoyed The Tea Rose a bit more, but we'll see when I'm finished with The Winter Rose.

  9. Les - I think it is interesting that several people mentioned preferring The Tea Rose. I wish I'd read it first, but doubt that I'll go back and pick it up. I did enjoy The Winter Rose as a fun read.