The Winter Rose

The Winter Rose by: Jennifer Donnelly

Published: 2008

# of pages: 707

Quote: "You do not choose love. Love chooses you." - Mrs. Moskowitz p. 250

I started reading this book 2 weeks ago and just now finished. It was a little too long for my taste, I feel like Donnelly should have made it into 2 separate books or left out some of the side stories (mainly the one about Seamie and Willa).

The Winter Rose is mainly a story about India Selwyn-Jones, who is one of the first female doctors in London in 1900. She forges ahead despite the odds against her, fighting criticism, ignorance, poverty, and her past. India is an excellent character, I just wish she had a different name. Her name doesn't match with the time the book is written or her social status (she's from an ancient and wealthy family). I know it's weird, but it really kept me from getting into the book. I felt like Donnelly just liked that name (it is a neat name for a modern time period) and so gave it to the main character instead of finding a name that matches the character. Plus there's the fact that it sounds very familiar to me..... Dr. Indiana Jones...Dr. India Jones.... hhmmm. All of the other characters have names that you would really find in England in the early 1900s, which makes India's name even more out of place.

Also, I didn't think it was necessary to completely recap Fiona's past story. I'm assuming The Tea Rose is mainly about her and Joe. Basically I know her complete story from The Winter Rose. I think it's ok to read some of her background, but not her entire story. Also, I have a feeling her next book will be The Mountain Rose and will concentrate on Willa and Seamie. There really wasn't a reason to go into Willa's story in this novel. I kept waiting for her to meet up with India and be the reason she goes back into medicine. Instead, Donnelly leaves the reader completely hanging on what happens to Willa and therefore makes Willa's story pointless in this book.

In spite of the misfits in the story, I still enjoyed India's adventures and reading about her medical career. I also liked the character Sid and his adventures in crime. There were several fairly graphic sex scenes and a lot of bad langauge (Sid is a crime lord, that's pretty accurate on how he and his cohorts would speak). It was good enough for me to read The Tea Rose someday and whatever other books Donnelly comes out with in the future because I do enjoy her writing style and thought this novel's storyline was original and full of surprises. Just when I thought I had something figured out, things would happen in a totally different way. That's exactly what I like in a book.

1 comment:

Seven_Shades_of_Red said...

I never read this book but I can see why the name would turn you off!!! It'd would do the same for me, too.

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