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The Rose of Sebastopol Audio Download – Abridged

3.7 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 6 hours and 3 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group Limited
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 5 Feb. 2008
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQF7JI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I thought this was a much better book than her last 'The Alchemist's Daughter'. I really enjoyed reading this - it was a great story with good characterisation and sense of place. I don't know much about the Crimea war but the historical settings and facts all appeared to be well researched and also well explained without being too political. I found this a very easy book to get into and got lost in its pages while I was reading it. I did actually like Mariella as a character even though she isn't the type of protagonist that I would usually warm to.

Mariella goes to Sebastopol to visit her sick fiance, Dr Henry and also to try and find her missing cousin Rosa. The book jumps from past to present taking the reader through the build up of Mariella and Rosa's relationship to Mariella's search for her. Whereas I usually love the inconsistent time setting in books, I think this one would actually have benefitted more from a linear narrative. I think it would have built up a better understanding of the before and after Mariella. However, the story was still beautifully told and a joy to read. The only let down was the ending which was such a shame because, for me, it really ruined the book. There was so much possibility for the ending that it just felt to me that the author just gave up on her story which was really upsetting. However, the book is still a great read and i would recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Admittedly it took me quite a while to get into the flow of the book, but once that happened i was engrossed. The Crimean war is a period of history that i really didnt know alot of, except for Florence Nightingale. The story is told by Mariella, a young women who has grown up in London, without actually seeing any of London. She has lead a very sheltered life, that is until her delightful cousin Rosa descends from the North and lives with Mariella and her family. I loved the contrast of stern and innocent Mariella and Rosa who just wants to help every individual that comes across her path. In the middle of this, is Henry Thewall, Mariella's fiancee who is a doctor and working in the Crimea. Rosa leaves London to nurse in the Crimea, her letters detailing the horror and expressing how she cant seem to do enough to help the soldiers. Suddenly the letters from Rosa stop and no more is heard from her, worried about her cousin and her fiancee, Mariella leaves London to search for them. I really enjoyed the book, once Mariella had left London, discovering how strong she actually is without the people she loves around her. And again, its an interesting period in British history that is rarely written about.
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By Quicksilver TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
The historical aspects of The Rose of Sebastopol are excellent. The horror of trench warfare and the inadequacy of the battlefield hospitals are effectively portrayed and not for the squeamish. McMahon also conveys the pigheadness of the British male in the mid nineteenth century very well. The contempt with which women were held in Victorian England comes through strongly and the sections that deal with their attempts at emancipation are some of the best in the novel.

Sadly, the story doesn't live up to the richness of the background in which it's set. The characters are cliched, bland and two dimensional and although the action and plot do drive the reader towards the end, the denouement is predictable in almost every respect. In addition, at the end, the whole thing suddenly grinds to a halt in a most unsatisfactory manner.

On balance, The Rose of Sebastopol is a solid 3 star novel. The story although told well, won't deliver anything you haven't read before but the vivid depiction of the period and the affecting war scenes rescue this novel and render it a worthwhile read.
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Format: Paperback
I have just finished this book and I wish I was picking it up for the first time. I was hooked from start to finish with this moving and compelling tale of self-discovery, friendship, love and war. The characters are involving, the English and battle landscapes tautly drawn and I found myself mourning the loss of reading this book for the first time.
In the beginning timid Mariella and her fiery cousin Rosa could not be more different in character even though the facial similarity between the two is often remarked upon. However, their respective journeys to and in the Crimea and their relationships with the other characters alter one of them in particular and following her journey of self-discovery is a very rewarding one.
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Format: Paperback
The Rose of Sebastapol isn't the straightforward historical novel it first appears to be, just as the relationships among the lead characters, and indeed the nature of the characters themselves, aren't what they first appear to be. The result is an engrossing adventure set against the rarely written-about Crimean War entwined with a mystery and wrapped around a coming-of-age, sexual-awakening tale. Adding even more complexity to the story is the unreliable narrative and the subtle yet evocative details. After finishing the book, I almost immediately began leafing through it again, seeing certain scenes in a new light, just as the protagonist had.
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Format: Paperback
I really started to like this book having read a few historical novels recently. I was truly envolved in the lives of the Victorian women and the history of the time is plainly and descriptively written. The attention to detail is lovely and the characters are easy to form in the imagination.

The reason i have given this only three stars is that the ending was a bit of a let down and the characters unravelled towards the end leaving me unsatisfied as to a true solution. The added factor of the "Richard and Judy" book club style questions and discussions that are printed at the back of the book only added to my annoyance. But that was probably because I bought it in paperback and it is going to be reviewed by them. Gawd help us all!

Totally involving until you get to the end. And no, tapestry and needlework will not save the world!
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