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The Tea Rose Hardcover – 6 May 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (6 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007161174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007161171
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 17.8 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘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

‘The Tea Rose is the kind of book that calls for a rainy day, a cozy chair and a good, steaming cup of tea. It’s strong and satisfying, with a taste that lingers in the memory.’ Paula Cohen

‘Bold, brisk and beguiling, The Tea Rose is a splendid brew of a book.’ Sam Twining

From the Back Cover

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jennifer Donnelly's 'THE TEA ROSE' is the first novel of it's kind that I have ever read and I enjoyed it immensely. This novel spans over a decade in the life of Fiona Finnegan a once rough and tumble young girl from the wrong side of London, who after a series of tragedies moves to New York City and becomes one of the richest women in America. I say that this book is a rarity because I have not read many books of this length that were not drawn out and overly descriptive, 'THE TEA ROSE' moved at a fast pace and kept my attention throughout. Also, this novel was almost like two books in one, it started out as a romantic historical fiction and ended almost as a thriller would with tons of action and high suspense. The ending, I must admit, was a tad bit over the top and you have to suspend disbelief a bit, but that does not take away from the splendid characters that Donnelly has created, all of whom the reader grows to care about and will root for until the very end. 'THE TEA ROSE' has a well thought out plot line and fully developed characters, I cannot recommend it enough.
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Format: Paperback
This book blew me away. I have not previously read any of Jennifer Donnellys' books and just happened to stumble across a mention of this book on someone's listmania and have not been disappointed.
The Tea Rose is a story of rags to riches but with such real characters, a heroine that you actually like and with some brilliant twists and turns along the way. This books had me laughing and crying in places and only took me three days to finish it's 782 pages. Read this book you won't be disappointed READ THIS BOOK. Can't wait for the sequel, The Winter Rose, in November.
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Format: Paperback
Oh yes,what a book this is!! I bought it because I loved Jennifer Donnelly's other novel,"A Gathering Light",and I wasn't disappointed. Once you're in a book by a story-teller like J.Donnelly,you don't want the novel to stop.

The tragedies that falls upon our strong-minded & spirited heroine,Fiona Finnegan,are unthinkable,and left me shattered,shoked and teary-eyed.....but not for long. Because Fiona won't slow down or forget her dreams because of what happened;she leaves behind the shabby streets of Whitechapel and moves to NY where she's confident she'll make her dreams come true,and she will,with the help of her faithful friends. But soon her past will catch up with her....and she'll have to deal with it,for once and for all.

I couldn't put this book down;you read it as fast as you can,and when you finish it,you're craving for more. But,thanks to reviewer M.Lugg "bookworm",we now know there's a sequel,"The Winter Rose",coming out in November (which is not soon enough)!!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
I love books from this era so as soon as I read the back I knew I had to buy it and read it. Unlike other wishy-washy books featuring this time period, I was enthralled with this book and how well written it is.

Moving from London's Whitechapel East End all the way to New York's Chelsea it is a great adventure every page you turn. The charactors are so vivid and you can really relate to them so closely, esp the lovely Fiona, and Joe too. I fell in love with these charactors and many more the minute they were introduced to us and things just got better the more and more I read.

This was a book I could not put down, because I was so caught up in the twists and turns of the plot- What would happen next?? This is one I would definately recommend to everyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well, I managed to get to 56% on the Kindle before I gave up.

I thought this would be about Jack the Ripper and I read books about him but no, it wasn't. The research of the area and of the time period are not brilliant and I wonder whether the author has even been to London. I mean, much is made of the fact that Joe moves to Covent Garden whilst Fiona stays in Whitechapel and Fiona grumbles on about how far away he is ... it's just under 3 miles. For a healthy young woman like Fiona you could walk it in about an hour. And, she can afford to spend money on stamps and yet can't afford tuppence for the omnibus fare? Strikes me as odd.

Money was another thing - they were saving. So we have references to "Twelve and two" and "Twelve and six" and I was thinking - well that's not much is it? It gradually became clear that the author is referring to £12 and 2 shillings and £12 and six shillings. Whereas - back in the pre-decimalisation days "Twelve and two" meant 12 shillings and tuppence - written as 12/2.

Then we have the modernisms. "date a girl" - this is an American expression first used in the 1920s. Unlikely to find it in 1880 London then. Then we have "brainstorm" wha ... ? 1930s. And, when Fiona moves to America and is visiting someone in their office she spots a "credenza" in the room. This is a late 19th century word of Italian origin used in America. Hardly something an East End girl newly arrived in America would have known. "Sideboard" might have been a better choice.

I don't think it would have taken too much effort for someone / editor / friend to have read the book and queried these odd annoying things.

I'm giving this two stars because I liked Fiona and Joe but with all I've said above plus the piling up of coincidence after coincidence and the overall "modern" feel it is definitely not worth more than 2 stars.
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