Sara's Reviews > The Rose of Sebastopol

The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon
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really liked it


It is the time of The Crimean War, and passionate though impetuous Rosa Barr abandons her stale London life to nurse the wounded. When Rosa vanishes, her cousin and our narrator, Mariella takes it upon herself to find her. Only Mariella is Rosa’s opposite; dutiful, loyal and dull. Mariella finds she is completely unprepared for life on the brink of battlefield. And as all the clues to Rosa’s disappearance point to Mariella’s fiancé, now mad with fever, Mariella is heartbroken. Forced to rise to the occasion, Mariella learns of betrayal, sacrifice and love.

The book has its aggravations. The story awkwardly jumps between decades and settings. McMahon also waits until late in the game to give us genuine reasons to care for any of her characters. Also be prepared for many stitching references and detailed clothing descriptions that do support the character, but are very distracting. Its abrupt ending is also unsatisfying, but perhaps because I was finally engrossed in McMahon’s tale.

Overall, I’m obliged to admit I did enjoy it. The descriptions of the war’s battles, conditions, and Londoner’s reactions are undeniably engaging. The layers of suspense and brisk pace McMahon builds cement this unexpected treat. I wouldn’t have put this book down during its final fifty pages for anything.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 8, 2008 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Maggie Totally agree with your entire review.


message 2: by Ldc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ldc Agree with your excellent review -the structure of the book was so irritating for me it kept jerking me out of the narrative of the chapter I was reading


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