The Tea Rose Book reviews


Author(s): Jennifer DonnellyDownload  


East London, 1888 – a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger’s son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.But Fiona’s life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan’s tea trade. But Fiona’s old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future.

Some Reviews: 2902 in

Helene Jeppesen

Helene Jeppesen rated it     

I really like this book because it is a great story. Fiona, our main character, goes through so much struggle and so many changes, and because she’s such a lovely character you can’t help but cheer for her. She’s stubborn, loyal and very intelligent and I quickly fell in love with her. This goes for most of the characters in this book: They were so easy to fall in love with while other characters were so easy to hate.
I do think that this book has its flaws. It’s very predictable and and contains a lot of the elements you can expect from a coming-of-age story. I wasn’t really surprised at any point (not until the very last pages), but the truth is I didn’t really mind that much. I loved the way the story was going and I loved to read about Fiona and her changes till the end. This is a very long book, but at no point did I feel like it was dragging too much or that any pages could have been taken out of the story.
I think the best part about “The Tea Rose” was the romance. Jennifer Donnelly has created an intense relationship between Fiona and her beloved one and my eyes were glued to the pages whenever we hear about this romance. The worst thing about this book was its predictability which didn’t really enhance the reading experience. Last but not least, I find it extremely funny how Jennifer Donnelly has a way with words. She likes to play with sounds and this book is no exception. The silly name “Tastea” was just too foolish for me to take seriously, but at least you could see that this was a book written by Jennifer Donnelly.
All in all, a great love story and coming-of-age book that will encapture you from beginning to end if you read it with an open heart and an open mind.

Louise Wilson

Louise Wilson rated it     

East London 1888 is a place where in its shadows thieves, whores and dreamers mingle.

Fiona Finnegan works in a tea factory. She hopes to own her own shop one day along with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow. Fiona &Joe struggle, save and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.

Then Fiona’s life is shattered when a brutal man takes nearly everything and everyone she holds dear. Fearing for her life she flees London and goes to New York. But Fiona’s old ghosts do not rest easily and she has to return to London to face a deadly confrontation.

A fantastic read. So well written with believable characters. A period drama with a mix of good and evil.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (UK & ANZ) and the author Jennifer Donnelly for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.


M.K. rated it      

Farting through silk dresses. That’s what the uncle of the heroine says she’ll be doing if she marries the rich man. Isn’t that a great expression? And sadly, I’ve got nowhere to use it. Not unless I want even more bewildered looks than usual. This novel has been out for a decade now, and the fact that it’s the choice of the History Fictionistas series read right now, speaks to its sticking power. And the centre of it is Fiona Finnegan, a feisty female fond of flavorful tea and fighting for family and friends. Her story begins in Whitechapel in the late 19th century, sails over to New York and then ten years later, returns to the shores of her homeland. It’s got your star-crossed romance, your gay best friend, a serial killer, Dickensian lowlifes and a grand finale. A Winter Rose, the second in the series, is up next, and I’ll be all over it. It features another tough heroine. I’m weak for strong women.


Marcia rated it      

When I first started reading this book, I thought “whew…over 500 pages. What kind of story are they trying to tell me? Is it going to be stuffed with description upon description of everything the main charactors come in contact with?” After finishing it, I could have read another 100 pages of the lives of Fiona and Joe. It was a book of second chances and missed opportunities. As well as a “I didn’t see that coming and a yup that’s what I figured” Loved it!

Favorite quote….”We’re not punished for our sins, but by them.”


Melodie rated it     

Fiona Finnegan is bright, outspoken and has big dreams. She is also one of the working poor in the part of London called ironically called Whitecastle. There is nothing white or royal about it.Life is not for the faint of heart in this and many other sections of 1888 London.
But Fiona and her childhood sweetheart,Joe Bristow have big plans. They are going to have their own shop.They religiously squirrel little bits of money away against the day when they can break out of poverty into better lives.
Life however has other plans and heart break ensues with the deaths of pretty much every member of Fiona’s family with the exception of her youngest brother, and losing Joe to another girl.
When Fiona overhears that her beloved father’s death was not an accident but cold blooded murder, she finds herself along with her little brother running for her life.She survives and thrives in the life she fashions for herself. But she is driven by hurt and a deep rage at what has been stolen from her. Revenge will be hers…some day.
This story put me in mind of the A Woman of Substance saga. I loved that series and I feel that this series will steal my heart as well.


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