The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose, #1)
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The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose #1)

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  14,474 ratings  ·  1,757 reviews
Fiona Finnegan, the spirited, ambitious daughter of an Irish dock worker, longs to break free from the squalid alleys of Whitechapel. But her dreams fall apart with the sudden death of her father and the disappearance of the childhood love.

Fiona flees to New York where she slowly builds a small grocery shop into a thriving tea house. But she cannot forget London. Convinced...more
Paperback, 675 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Harper Collins Ltd (first published March 11th 2002)
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Wendy Darling
3.5 stars. This book is not at all what I expected! I thought it was historical fiction, but there's too much crazy melodrama for it to be that. Then I thought it was a historical romance, but it's far too detailed and well done for that, too. So the book is either extremely campy historical fiction or really, really excellent historical romance. But either way, it's loads and loads of fun.

A few things you should know about me that factor into why I enjoyed this book so much:

* I am picky about m...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
This book has faults. The story was pretty far fetched at times-but I suppose in kind of an endearing "fairy tale" way (which is funny, since a great deal of the book is extremely horrible and depressing), and the main character didn't really have any flaws.

Well, I take that back. Fiona, the main character, was in love with Joe. That is a fault, in my eyes. They grew up together, were in love, and had big plans to get rich together. Well, through a horrible chain of events, they ended up on oppo...more
Renee
Dec 16, 2007 Renee rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: No One I Actually Like
I had a lot of hope for this after reading Donnelly's "A Northen Light" (which I really liked) and after learning that "A Tea Rose" was set in London at the time of the Jack the Ripper murders (a very intriguing setting, I thought). But I'm sorry to say, I was terribly disappointed.

The characters are all extremely stale. Good-hearted and good-looking people who have unfortunately been born into the working class. There are no flaws to make them human. Nothing I could relate with. Plus, the bigge...more
Ellie
Set in London, England during the late 19th Century, The Tea Rose tells the tale of Fiona Finnegan. Fiona is the spirited, ambitious daughter of an Irish dock worker. She longs to break free from the squalid lanes and alleys of Whitechapel, where she has grown up and now has a job in a tea factory. With the love of her life, Joe Bristow, Fiona dreams of escaping the poverty and opening her own tea shop. But one by one her dreams fall apart as her father is killed in a dock accident, Joe is seduc...more
Vera
ΤΟ ΤΡΙΑΝΤΑΦΥΛΛΑΚΙ
ΝΤΟΝΕΛΙ ΤΖΕΝΙΦΕΡ

Περιγραφή
Ανατολικό Λονδίνο 1888. Ένα μέρος όπου ληστές, μπράβοι, πόρνες και συνηθισμένοι νατολικό Λονδίνο 1888. Ένα μέρος όπου ληστές, μπράβοι, πόρνες και συνηθισμένοι άνθρωποι ονειρεύονται μια καλύτερη ζωή, κι όπου τις νύχτες τριγυρίζει ο Τζακ ο Αντεροβγάλτης.

Εκεί, δίπλα στα νερά του Τάμεση, μια έξυπνη και θαρραλέα κοπέλα τολμάει να κάνει όνειρα για μια ζωή μακριά από τις ετοιμόρροπες αποβάθρες, τα βρομερά σοκάκια και τη θλίψη της φτωχογειτονιάς.

Η Φιόνα Φίνεγκαν...more
Po
This one of my all time favorites!! It is a sweeping saga, set between the US, Ireland, and England. It's fabulous. If you love historical epics, do yourself a favor and read it now! It's out in paperback now. A warning, it's huge!!
Marcia
When I first started reading this book, I thought "whew...over 500 pages. What kind of story are they trying to tell me? Is it going to be stuffed with description upon description of everything the main charactors come in contact with?" After finishing it, I could have read another 100 pages of the lives of Fiona and Joe. It was a book of second chances and missed opportunities. As well as a "I didn't see that coming and a yup that's what I figured" Loved it!

Favorite quote...."We're not punishe...more
Michel
Countess of Monte-Christo…
Revenge is sweet. And the good girl does not finish last!
The magic of the story is in the telling. This long long long book finishes too soon, that's a good test; and it stays with you for a while, another good test; and characters you know like you met them, some you love to love, and some you love to hate, another good test; and the setting, Dickens!
I read this book right after Rita died, and, well, it made me love, and miss, her even more: I wanted to give it to her,...more
Lauren
Although The Tea Rose is not the worst book I've read, it's pretty terrible. With a good 200 pages of drivel, it raises the question, how did this slip past the editor?

The other 350 pages drift somewhere along a mediocre plot-line, ridiculous dialogue and predictable, fairytale-like situations. Every time a character had a setback in life it was magically resolved by some farfetched coincidence. The book was littered with long descriptions that add very little to the story. On page 13, Donnelly...more
Doug Bradshaw
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shell Schroth
I was just saying to my reading buddy, Rhonda, that I was tiring of the typical.. 'Privelaged girl meets Privelaged boy, having to endure the constant snear of society, all the while trying to (and always failing) to maintain ones virtue' stories.

Don't get me wrong, I love those books as much as the next guy..er.. uhm girl. It's just that lately I have been craving something 'more'. More angst, More struggle, (beyond what color of dress to wear to the society ball), more 'REAL'.

I definatly fou...more
Moira
Farting through silk dresses. That's what the uncle of the heroine says she'll be doing if she marries the rich man. Isn't that a great expression? And sadly, I've got nowhere to use it. Not unless I want even more bewildered looks than usual. This novel has been out for a decade now, and the fact that it's the choice of the History Fictionistas series read right now, speaks to its sticking power. And the centre of it is Fiona Finnegan, a feisty female fond of flavorful tea and fighting for fami...more
Christie
Although I really liked this book I just couldn't quite give it five stars. Since I don't want to spoil it for others I'll try not to give too much away but here are the reasons I just couldn't give it five stars:
Too long....I like long books but I got impaitent with some parts of this book because I felt like there were unecessary elements and some of the "just missed it" scenes were frustrating.
I felt that the attempt to weave Jack the Ripper into the story actually detracted from the rest of...more
Eileen
I drink a lot of tea, roses are one of my favorite flowers and I love historical fiction and that's the reason why I put this book on my to-read-list. It didn't disappoint me at all! It sucked me in from the beginning until the very exciting end. Unfortunately I was busy at work, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to put the book down. This book needs a cold winters day, a comfortable couch, a big bar of chocolate and hot tea.......... You'll have an incredible read!

The story is about r...more
Emery Lee
At first the Prologue of this novel sucked me right in!

"Polly Nichols a Whitechapel whore, was profoundly grateful to gin. Gin helped her. It cured her. It took away her hunger and chased the chill from her joints. It stilled the aching in her rotting teeth and numbed the slicing pains she got every time she took a piss. It made her feel better than any man ever had..."

My first thought was, "WOW. That was powerful. The author really knows how to paint the darker side of humanity."

Unfortunately...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

This is going to be an interesting review. But that is entirely fitting since this was an interesting book. I went back and forth on the rating of this as well. It's truly not good enough for more than a 3 star rating and yet, in the end, I sped through it and loved it. This also might end up being a tad bit more spoilery than I usually try to be; I honestly couldn't help it. This was part daytime soap-opera distilled into book form, part historical...more
Fiona
Sep 20, 2009 Fiona rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: people who like historical romances
Recommended to Fiona by: Allison (The Allure of Books)
If we had half stars I think it would be a 3.5 star book.

It is hard to rate this book because I really did enjoy it a lot and I really want to read the sequel, The Winter Rose.

I loved the characters and I love how Donnelly sucks you into the past, into her world and despite being so long, it never lets up in pace or story. The Tea Rose is 100% a thoroughly enjoyable book.

However, it is no where near as good as A Northern Light/A Gathering Light which is why for me, I can't rate it higher. I also...more
Erin
Actual rating: 2.5 stars.

The Tea Rose was kind of like a historically inaccurate soap opera set in 19th century London and New York. I love the historical fiction genre, something I discovered quite by surprise after reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. But the big difference here was that Jennifer Donnelly didn't seem to care much for the historical aspect of her writing. When writing about the past, it is true that certain liberties can be taken, but they shouldn't be taken at every turn.

Case...more
M. ~ B&B
"Got to have a dream, Fee," he said. "The day you stop dreaming you might as well take yourself down to the undertaker's, for you're as good as dead."

I didn't really know what to expect of this book when I started it. I had high hopes, and my hopes were mainly based on the pretty cover and the beautiful title. I am shallow like that. But I can honestly say my expectations were met and I loved this story. I love historical stories. I feel like everything in the present is put in perspective fo...more
Camilla

*Spoilers*

One of the most disappointing books I've ever read.

I chose it among hundreds at the bookstore, immediately captivated by its beautiful cover and interesting blurb and ended up cursing at every single character repeatedly. They're all dull, incredibly stupid, even more incredibly childish and whiny.
It's never their fault, but all their misfortunes always depend on someone else, on something else. They don't fight for their lives, they use other people in order to achieve their goals. I...more
Glenda
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, the ghosts of her past pro...more
Amy
I loved, loved, loved this book! The Tea Rose is a fabulous story of an amazing, ambitious girl, Fiona, from the slums of Whitechaple who dreams of a life without poverty and a boy named Joe. Fiona and Joe grew up with each other and are very much in love. Their relationship changes when Joe moves to a better job and then Fiona loses her family tragically and escapes to New York taking her 5-year-old brother, Seamie, with her. The story then follows Fiona’s life and struggles in New York and her...more
Parvathy
Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas is my all time favorite book. I love revenge stories where the protagonist suffers the first half of the book only to come back as the all powerful avenging angel to deliver a new brand of justice. After going through the reviews and plot summary I was under the impression that The Tea Rose is a new application of the same old formula. Some reviews went as far as to suggest that this book should be renamed as the "Countess of Monte Cristo".
This book my...more
Hayley
I enjoyed this book immensely. I have several friends on Good Reads that have rated this book 4 to 5 stars so I decided to pick it up. I ended up giving the book a 4.5 (I would of given it a 5, but I thought that the author could have shortened the book if she didn't go into SO much detail). I've never read anything by Jennifer Donnelly but after reading this, I will definitely move onto another piece of her work.

This story captivates you, especially if you are interested in historical fiction/r...more
Misfit
This was such a wonderful tale, I simply could not put it down. A tale of two star crossed lovers (they came SO CLOSE to finding each other time after time after time I wanted to scream!), a lovely glimpse of Victorian England and New York City. Many memorable characters, heartbreak and laughter and of course a truly evil villain waiting for the good guys to vanquish, and a surprise return from the dead at the end. Can't wait to read the sequel now.

My only complaints are just a few too many fam...more
Lynn
Wow, what an amazing book! Jennifer Donnelly is an excellent writer! I was so emersed in this book. I fell in love with the characters, I felt sadness for their struggles, heartache and longing. I felt so much admiration for the main character Fiona, with her strength and determination. Donnelly did a wonderful job of giving detail and making you invision the scenes of the story and the way she intertwining all of the character involved was fantastic. The story was such a roller coaster ride I c...more
Manuela
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mariam
Before I can gather my thoughts and write a review, I should mention that in the last thirty pages, I somehow managed to rip five strands of my bangs out after reading an extremely shocking scene...now when things like THAT happen, you know it's a great book.
Update:
Booklist's review states that this "exquisite melodrama will appeal to fans of epic historical fiction", and I couldn't agree more. This novel is genius. I was instantly pulled in within the first ten pages, and I probably gasped or y...more
Denise
"Funny, 'ow you can 'old a jewel in your 'and, and toss it away, and not even know what you 'ad until it's gone." ~Joe~

This seems to be the theme of Fiona and Joe's life. They are living in the area and times of Jack the Ripper and this all ties well into the story.
The story starts out with Fiona, a 17 year old girl who lives in poverty with her parents, 3 siblings and her "uncle". They are a family of hard workers who have to pinch every cent they bring in just enough to survive. There is b...more
Heather
My gosh, I loved this book! Reading it confirmed something I suspected after I finished reading A Northern Light - that Jennifer Donnelly needs to be added to my list of favorite authors. She’s a terrific storyteller! She writes stories that I can get totally lost in and I love that. Yes, the drama was over-the-top at times and, yes, I got incredibly frustrated at all the “near-misses” that kept happening throughout the story, but even so, I think that just intensified my reactions, which is a g...more
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Jennifer Donnelly is the author of five novels - Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose - and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and attended the University of Rochester where she majored in English Literature and European History.

Jennifer’s first novel, The Tea Rose, an epic historical...more
More about Jennifer Donnelly...
A Northern Light Revolution The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose, #2) The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose, #3) Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)

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“We're not punished for our sins, lad. We're punished by them.” 54 likes
“She was his soulmate, as much a part of him as the very flesh and bone that made him. She was with him, in him, in everything he did. She was everything he wanted from his life, the very measure of his dreams.” 40 likes
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