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Set in Whitechapel in 1888, The Tea Rose is a tale of a love lost and won, of a family’s destruction, of murder and revenge – and one young woman’s quest to escape the poverty of her childhood and make her fortune in the tea trade.
Fiona Finnegan is the spirited, ambitious daughter of an Irish dock worker. She longs to break free from the squalid lanes and alleys of Whitechapel, where she has a job in a tea factory. With the love of her life, Joe Bristow, she dreams of escaping the poverty and opening her own tea shop. But one by one her dreams fall apart as her father is killed in a dock accident, Joe is seduced by another woman, and her mother is viciously murdered – a suspected victim of Jack the Ripper.
Devastated, her life in tatters, Fiona flees to New York where she sets up home with her alcoholic uncle. Slowly she builds his small grocery shop into a thriving tea house, and her new life flourishes. After years of hard work, she establishes herself as the head of her own powerful tea empire. But she cannot forget London – or Joe. Convinced that her father was murdered by his brutal employer, Fiona vows to seek revenge and ruin him once and for all. Making her way back to the streets of her impoverished childhood, Fiona must start her fight again.
From the bleak poverty and filthy back streets of London to the glossy sophistication of Fifth Avenue, from East End dock workers to New York socialites, The Tea Rose is a charming, heart warming and ultimately life-affirming novel.