Friday, January 8, 2021

Audio Review: The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose #3) by Jennifer Donnelly

The third book in the sweeping, multi-generational saga that began with The Tea Rose, The Wild Rose is a "lush story of epic proportions" (Romantic Times Book Review).

The Wild Rose is a part of the sweeping, multi-generational saga that began with The Tea Rose and continued with The Winter Rose. It is London, 1914. World War I looms on the horizon, women are fighting for the right to vote, and explorers are pushing the limits of endurance in the most forbidding corners of the earth. Into this volatile time, Jennifer Donnelly places her vivid and memorable characters: Willa Alden, a passionate mountain climber who lost her leg while summiting Kilimanjaro with Seamus Finnegan, and who will never forgive him for saving her life; Seamus Finnegan, a polar explorer who tries to forget Willa as he marries a beautiful young schoolteacher back home in England; Max von Brandt, a handsome German sophisticate who courts high society women, but has a secret agenda in wartime London.

Many other beloved characters from The Winter Rose continue their adventures in The Wild Rose as well. With myriad twists and turns, thrilling cliffhangers, and fabulous period detail and atmosphere, The Wild Rose provides a highly satisfying conclusion to an unforgettable trilogy.

Paperback, 640 pages
Published September 1st 2009 
Audiobook  24 hours, 33 minutes
by Hachette Books
2.5/5 stars

I really enjoyed the first two books in this The Tea Rose Series. They both had plots and characters that grabbed me but sadly The Wild Rose did not invoke those same feelings. 

I am going to go against the grain here because I really struggled to finish this one.  I'm glad I went the audio route because it would have been a DNF otherwise.  It wasn't the writing, Jennifer Donnelly is a favourite of mine.  Her YA historical fiction books - Revolution, A Northern Light and These Shallow Graves are ones I recommend and loan out of my library often.  Even those not daunted by the size The Tea Rose is a great story to get lost in the pages of - its 675 pages long.

So what happened here?  Right from the beginning Willa just got on my nerves with Seamus quickly following suit - that kinda set the tone.  Now I get not liking characters in books, this was different and I can't quite put my finger on why.

The story was long, with somewhat of a soap opera feel and was just way too long (yea I said that twice).  I will say the author hit the time period spot on, her research and historical knowledge shined through.  Some of the characters/actions just didn't do it for me this time around.

Audiobook from my personal library via Audible.

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