Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Wild Rose Book Review

The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

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It is London, 1914. World War I looms on the horizon, women are fighting for the right to vote, and explorers are pushing the limits of endurance in the most forbidding corners of the earth. Into this volatile time, Jennifer Donnelly places her vivid and memorable characters, continuing the story of the Finnegan family. With fabulous period detail, myriad twists and turns, and thrilling cliff-hangers, The Wild Rose is the highly satisfying conclusion to an unforgettable trilogy that being with The Tea Rose and continued with The Winter Rose - and an utterly captivating read in its own right.

Review by Brittany:

This novel is the third in the Tea Rose trilogy, the other two of which I thoroughly enjoyed. These period novels throw in a bit of extra drama and shock, which keeps me turning pages waiting to find out what happens.

In this book, the focus is shifted onto Seamie Finnegan moreso than the other Finnegans. Seamie is in his early thirties now and a renowned explorer, but he feels as if it might be time for him to think about settling down. After what happened with Willa in the previous novel, his heart is still broken, and he doesn't know if he'll ever be able to find someone who feels worth pursuing again. Enter Jennie Wilcott, teacher daughter of a pastor who is immediately intrigued by Seamie.

While this is going on with Seamie, there is also the character Max von Brandt. He is one that was hard for me to put my finger on. I switched between thinking he was a bad guy and thinking he was a guy just doing what he had to do in such complicated, tumultuous times. I guess that's a pretty good indication of what a charmer he plays in the novels - he's so good that even the reader can't decide how to feel about him. By the end of the book, I still wasn't sure exactly what to think about him.

Willa Alden is back in this one, and I just feel so sorry for that girl. She had a tumultuous time in the last novel, and in this one she's back at the hands of bad karma. She has become a photographer and mapmaker, finding new pathways for others to climb the mountains she dreams of climbing but can't. When WWI breaks out, she uses her photography skills to help Britain uncover hidden camps of their enemies. This puts her in the hands of tortuous Turks and leaves her struggling to survive.

This one has a huge adoption conspiracy, threats of spies from Germany, and tumultuous kidnappings and reader longings for the "right ones" to get together. Basically, it's a little like a soap opera, but I absolutely love it. I think Donnelly is an amazing writer and gives enough drama to keep me turning pages, which also leaving me feeling like I'm a part of the history. I definitely recommend!

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