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The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose #1)

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4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  23,280 Ratings  ·  2,365 Reviews
East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong ...more
Paperback, 675 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Harper Collins Ltd (first published March 11th 2002)
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Kelli She started out writing YA, but this is more of an adult novel in my opinion since the main character is in her mid to late twenties by the end of the…moreShe started out writing YA, but this is more of an adult novel in my opinion since the main character is in her mid to late twenties by the end of the book.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 did not like it
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
Allison
The Tea Rose was a really good book, and I'm so glad I persevered past the absolutely devastating first 200-300-odd pages. It's one of those books that starts off with everything going so well that you know it's not going to last long. I had a sense of foreboding, but the amount of tragedy and pain was really too much. It just kept coming in wave after wave. It wasn't just a bit dark or a bit tragic. It was crushing, suffocating loss and pain. That's going to stick with me for a while. I'm reall ...more
Nikoleta
Mar 24, 2016 Nikoleta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Όταν έβλεπα τις 800 σελίδες αυτού του βιβλίου τρόμαζα και το άφηνα για καιρό. Όχι επειδή δεν αντέχω το διάβασμα, αλλά η πείρα μου, μου έχει μάθει ότι κείμενα τέτοιου μεγέθους είναι γεμάτα περιττές λεπτομέρειες και φλυαρίες. Με το “Τριανταφυλλάκι”έπεσα έξω. Mου άρεσαν πολλά πράγματα. Πρώτον, η πλοκή του κυλάει τόσο γρήγορα που δεν προλαβαίνεις να χωνέψεις τις εξελίξεις, οπότε δεν υπάρχει περίπτωση να πιάσεις τον εαυτό σου να βαριέται, εκτός κι αν γενικώς το ιστορικό μυθιστόρημα δεν είναι το φόρτε ...more
Aoibhínn
Jun 26, 2015 Aoibhínn rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
helen the bookowl
Jun 12, 2015 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it
I really like this book because it is a great story. Fiona, our main character, goes through so much struggle and so many changes, and because she's such a lovely character you can't help but cheer for her. She's stubborn, loyal and very intelligent and I quickly fell in love with her. This goes for most of the characters in this book: They were so easy to fall in love with while other characters were so easy to hate.
I do think that this book has its flaws. It's very predictable and and contain
...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
Po
Mar 17, 2008 Po rated it it was amazing
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!!
Andreas
Dec 23, 2015 Andreas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ich hätte es schon viel früher lesen sollten *__*
PattyMacDotComma
Jul 19, 2015 PattyMacDotComma rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook-pdf-doc
I stumbled across The Tea Rose when looking for a book with Winter in the title and found The Winter Rose. Since that was part of a trilogy, I figured I'd skip the 'winter' challenge and try the first in the series - historical novel, lots of good reviews, sounded like fun.

Mostly, it was a pretty good read. Vivacious, irrepressible teen from a desperately poor family in Jack the Ripper's Whitechapel, loves, loses, suffers, faces murders, deaths, harrowing experiences, and heartbreak. Eventually
...more
Vera
Feb 19, 2013 Vera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Michel
Mar 14, 2009 Michel rated it really liked it
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
M.K.
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 ...more
Marcia
Feb 19, 2013 Marcia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
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
Bücherwunder
Jun 26, 2016 Bücherwunder rated it it was amazing
Ein Re-Read für mich. Meiner Meinung nach ein Buch, das man absolut gelesen haben muss. Und das auch, wenn man (wie ich) ansonsten nicht unbedingt historische Romane liest.
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Είναι εξαιρετικά σπάνιο στις μέρες μας να πέσει στα χέρια σου κάποιο βιβλίο, τόσο καλογραμμένο που να σου φέρνει στο νου βιβλία και συγγραφείς κάποιας άλλης εποχής. Kαι όμως, με χαρά και έκπληξη θα διαπιστώσει κανείς πως η κυρία Donnelly και τα βιβλία της, έχουν αυτή τη μαγική ικανότητα. Να σου μεταφέρουν με την καλοδουλεμένη, λεπτομερή, γλαφυρή, μα σε καποία περίπτωση κουραστική περιγραφή προσώπων και καταστάσεων, όχι μόνο εικόνες, σκέψεις και συναισθήματα αλλά ταυτόχρονα, χρώματα, μουσικές, ...more
Doug Bradshaw
Jul 07, 2011 Doug Bradshaw rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Melodie
Fiona Finnegan is bright, outspoken and has big dreams. She is also one of the working poor in the part of London called ironically called Whitecastle. There is nothing white or royal about it.Life is not for the faint of heart in this and many other sections of 1888 London.
But Fiona and her childhood sweetheart,Joe Bristow have big plans. They are going to have their own shop.They religiously squirrel little bits of money away against the day when they can break out of poverty into better liv
...more
Patrizia
Jul 26, 2016 Patrizia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein absolutes Highlight
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
Amy Bruno
Feb 01, 2009 Amy Bruno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
mary
Αποφάσισα πλέον ότι αν ένα βιβλίο δεν καταφέρει να με κερδίσει στις πρώτες σελίδες δεν πρόκειται να εξαναγκαστώ να το τελειώσω.Έτσι το εγκαταλείπω μετά από 140 σελίδες γιατί πρώτον βαρέθηκα απίστευτα και δεύτερον η Φιόνα κατάφερε μέσα σε τόσο λίγη έκταση να μου γίνει τόσο αντιπαθητική που δεν θέλω να φανταστώ τη συνέχεια.Αν και εκτιμώ την Donnelly σαν συγγραφέα, το συγκεκριμένο μου θύμισε κακογραμμένο άρλεκιν, αφελές και σαχλό.Ίσως μια μέρα το ξαναπροσπαθήσω για την ώρα πάντως απογοητεύτηκα ίσως ...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
Mishelle LaBrash
Oct 16, 2011 Mishelle LaBrash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Christie
Feb 20, 2008 Christie rated it really liked it
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
Σπυροπούλου Άσπα
Tα πέντε αστεράκια ειναι πολύ λίγα γι'αυτό το βιβλίο!!!Είναι υπέροχο... το ερωτεύτηκα!!Νομίζω ότι δεν υπάρχει ούτε μια λεξούλα περιττή στις 800 σελίδες του!Συγκλονιστικό απο την αρχή ως το τέλος!!
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 f
...more
Cam *is the worst*
Apr 18, 2014 Cam *is the worst* rated it did not like it

*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
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Great Resads 1 6 Apr 08, 2016 11:56AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Mar 06, 2015 10:04AM  
More like this? Please suggest. 46 492 May 21, 2014 07:54AM  
Buddy Read Zone: The Tea Rose 259 41 Jan 12, 2014 02:07AM  
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Jennifer Donnelly is the author of ten novels - These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, 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 ...more
More about Jennifer Donnelly...

Other Books in the Series

The Tea Rose (3 books)
  • The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose, #2)
  • The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose, #3)

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“We're not punished for our sins, lad. We're punished by them.” 73 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.” 46 likes
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