The Wild Rose takes place a few years after The Winter Rose. Seamus Finnegan is is a famous explorer. After an accident on Kilimanjaro that leaves his...moreThe Wild Rose takes place a few years after The Winter Rose. Seamus Finnegan is is a famous explorer. After an accident on Kilimanjaro that leaves his friend and love, Willa Alden hurt physically and emotionally, he must try to pick up the pieces of his life and try and move on. This is after he is left while Willa races away from her problems to Tibet.
True to the other books (The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose) we see what is going on with other members of the Finnegan and Bristow family. Fiona still has her tea empire, supports local charities, fights for women's rights (such as the right to vote) and takes care of her children and family. Joe is still trying to change the world through politics to help the poor on the east end. Their eldest, Katie shows a political and journalistic bent to fight for the sufferage movement and sets the way to becoming the first female MP. As a reader one can tell that political and social issues of the times are important to Donnelly. It lends to a richer story to really know all aspects of the time.
Seamus is home from exploring and trying to decide if he should follow his wandering heart or have a "normal" life at home in London. England is on the brink of war with Germany (WW1). There are fears of a German invasion and take over. The war is put into a realistic light with fighting, dying, espionage, and treason. But true to Donnelly's form, things are not always what they seem and there will be many plot twists and turns.
Seamus (Seamie) meets a sweet girl and knows she would make the perfect wife, he forces himself to try and fall in love. The two marry out of necessity and try to make a go at life together. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Jenny. She is stuck married to a man who left his heart to a girl on Kilimanjaro. Willa does come back to London due to somber reason. What was hard to read was her and Seamie's lack of regard for others and who they were hurting when they decided to have an affair. The affair quickly ends because Seamie is married with a baby on the way and decided what is transpiring is only hurting everyone around them. Willa runs to Arabia to work as a map maker and photographer for the military. Seamus becomes a naval captain and even America is now involved in the war.
Even though I didn't like the fact that Willa and Seamie acted like immature children and indulge themselves in each other without thought to others, after they separate and life takes over again through many circumstances the two are thrust back together and finally are able to proclaim their love and be together. It was a beautiful start at a new life after so much death and misery.
India, Sid, and East London are part of this story too. Donnelly really creates a through tale, and I love updates on previous characters from the other books. I recommend reading this trilogy in order and I definitely recommend this book to those who loved the previous books. I will definitely read future work of Donnelly and I give this book a three out of five star rating.
*This ARC was provided to me through NetGalley(less)