The Winter Rose
By (author) Jennifer Donnelly
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Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Another strong, satisfying novel, full of rich storytelling, by the author of the favourite 'The Tea Rose'. Set in London and Africa in the early days of the twentieth century, 'The Winter Rose' introduces some remarkable new characters. India Selwyn-Jones is one of the rare new breed: a lady doctor. Her family, her eligible, ambitious fiance, the male medical establishment all object but she insists on defying convention and finds a post in London's East End. There she meets a gangland boss called Sid Malone. Criminal he may be but he also has a hidden charm, and a devastatingly attractive personality, and when India is called to treat him after a dockside brawl, their friendship becomes more intense. But Sid Malone is not his real name: and he has a past and enemies by the score, including India's determined and ruthless fiance whose intention is to marry into the family money as well as becoming a leading political figure. The stormy, noisy, brawling docklands are a natural home to the political fight as the fledgling Labour Party gets underway, and the struggle for the women's vote becomes more strident. But the East End is also a place for those who have a past to hide, a new beginning to find. And so the complicated strands of betrayal and pretence, of ambition and family, are woven again into a new drama, in a new country. Jennifer Donnelly, author of 'A Gathering Light' as well as 'The Tea Rose', has a wonderful gift for sweeping storytelling, with a lively cast of vivid characters, rich and detailed backgrounds. Her writing has a warmth and energy that takes all readers completely into her world.
Praise for 'The Winter Rose': 'There's a hint of mystery, lots of interesting characters and locales such as India, Africa and California, with turn-of-the-century London at the centre of an engaging book. Recommended.' Barbara Taylor Bradford 'Donnelly's feel for the period and attention to detail make this more than just a ripping yarn.' Telegraph 'So vividly imagined that it's like time-travelling back to 1900' Eve magazine 'Melodramatic set pieces keep this romp rattling along, with drugs, prostitution and robbery adding colour to a world defined by poverty and corruption.' Daily Mail 'Compelling reading' Heat, number 9 chart position (pb) 'Savour every page, it's well worth it.' Easy Living 'A vivid and entertaining read!it's a brilliant story.' Yours magazine More praise for 'The Winter Rose': 'A great read with fabulous characters, plenty of historical drama and romance, as well political intrigue and moments of sumptuously gothic excess.' www.hagharlotsheroines.com 'Rollicking romance' Dorset Echo Praise for the 'The Tea Rose': 'This is a most seductive novel. You'll be charmed by the novels heroine -- her intelligence, her courage, her great heart. Despite her suffering -- a lost love, a tragic family -- there are moments you will want to cheer. It's the kind of novel where the writing is so fluid you feel the author simply loves telling her story. This is a splendid, heartwarming novel of pain, struggle, decency, triumph -- and just what we need in these times.' Frank McCourt 'I loved this vividly researched and wonderfully rumbustious yarn -- brilliantly told, great fun to read.' Simon Winchester 'Bold, brisk and beguiling, 'The Tea Rose' is a splendid brew of a book.' Sam TwiningISBN: 9780007191321
Classification: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Format: Paperback (197mm x 130mm x 41mm)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 6-Nov-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Comment on Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
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US Kirkus Review » Where's Jack the Ripper when you need him?India Jones - her name an echo, intentional or not, of the Harrison Ford film character - is spirited, moneyed, smart, high-toned, tough and diligent. She lacks only the ability to "smell a copper a mile away," a skill that would help her fit right in with her patients in Whitechapel, London's dingiest, grimiest, Cockneyest district, where she has set up a medical practice. Jack London wrote about the place in People of the Abyss, a book contemporaneous with the time at which Donnelly's far chunkier tome takes place. Like Donnelly's The Tea Rose (2002), this work features a heroine who cuts a fine figure in the world but who is less than complete without a man - preferably a dangerous sort, it seems, rather than a fellow do-gooder - by her side. India fills the bill with Sid Malone, a cruel-hearted and cruelly handsome gangster who is definitely not for the faint of heart. (Come the movie, Ian McShane is just the type for the part.) Both naturally resist the temptations of the other. Eventually, hormones trump sense; as Donnelly explains, "He stood, as if to go, then instead he bent to her, took her face in his hands, parted her lips with his tongue, and kissed her deeply." Once parted, those lips stay parted, even when Sid gets himself in trouble with the coppers. When he's released on his own recognizance, Sid arms himself with a pseudonym and goes off in search of India, who has transferred herself to Kenya to do good in coffee country. Seems she's got something that's his. Meanwhile, she's looking for something that's hers, too, but is stymied by the evil politician Freddie Lytton, who, come to think of it, has his Jack the Ripper qualities. Can love prevail over money? Can love outlast this too-long, too-average narrative? Only India's shadow knows.Horatio Alger meets a bodice-ripper meets Hemingway, with Dickensian dashes for good measure. Still, mostly a bodice-ripper, and a middling one at that. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Jennifer Donnelly is a children's book writer, tea enthusiast and amateur rosarian. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband. 'The Tea Rose' was her first novel.
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