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Die Wildrose

Geschrieben von Jennifer Donnelly

Erzählt von Cathlen Gawlich

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In Ihrem Land nicht verfügbar

Die Wildrose

Geschrieben von Jennifer Donnelly

Erzählt von Cathlen Gawlich

Bewertungen:
3.5/5 (12 Bewertungen)
Länge:
7 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Sep 26, 2014
ISBN:
9783862311521
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

Der Erste Weltkrieg wirft seine Schatten voraus. In den Straßen Londons weht ein rauer Wind, Frauen kämpfen für ihr Wahlrecht, während Polarforscher die entlegensten Ecken der Erde erkunden. Auch Seamus Finnegan und Willa Alden brennen für das Extreme. Gemeinsam erklimmen sie die unbezwingbaren Gipfel der Welt - bis Willa bei einem tragischen Unfall am Kilimandscharo ein Bein verliert. Obwohl sich beide aufrichtig lieben, entzweit sie der Unfall. Erst als Willa nach Jahren der Zurückgezogenheit aus dem Himalaja nach London zurückkehrt, kreuzen sich ihre Wege ein zweites Mal.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Sep 26, 2014
ISBN:
9783862311521
Format:
Hörbuch

Über den Autor

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of eleven novels including the Waterfire Saga, The Tea Rose series, Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, and A Northern Light.  She grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and attended the University of Rochester where she majored in English Literature and European History. www.jenniferdonnelly.com Twitter: @JenWritesBooks



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3.6
12 Bewertungen / 22 Rezensionen
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  • (5/5)
    I have read all of the previous books in the Rose Trilogy and The Wild Rose is a pretty perfect end. Ms. Donnelly does a fantastic job of incorporating all of the characters from the previous 2 books into the final novel but doesn't let the current story suffer because of it.I will miss this series and will be re-reading it as soon as all my friends are done with my books.
  • (4/5)
    The story of the Finnegan family begins in the slums of London and follows its strong characters who are involved in and escape (literally) the rampant crime and poverty. Three generations of this family fight for their lives and ultimately British civil rights throughout the early twentieth century, a turbulent time in history. Having read the previous books of the Rose Trilogy, the reader will find this finale flows evenly to a fitting ending of this family saga, but is not quite as good. Is it worth all the reading? I'd say only if you like a war romance that skims over brutality then cleans itself up and wraps itself in a somewhat happily-ever-after bow."The Wild Rose" focuses on the WWI timeframe. Several story lines compete in this novel; some interesting, some not. I was unable to really like most of the characters - especially the important ones. Many of the plots came across too contrived. The book was mostly predictable with a few quick twists that bolstered the overall tiresome aspects. I wanted to like this book because I really liked Donnelly's writing in her book "Revolution". It seems she did a lot of research to write these three novels and I don't question her historical facts. London came across real and strong, but other locations were weak and the sense of time and place are elusive.Unfortunately, I found The Wild Rose was not satisfying and not worth the time it takes to read ... for me anyway. I got tired of the same characters incredibly cheating death over and over. I found it somewhat annoying. It was like watching a tv series where you know the good guys are bound to win.... just not sure who the good guys really were in this one... or if they won?
  • (3/5)
    The melodrama of the Finnegan siblings comes to a close in this third installment of the trilogy. I have to admit that while I'm satisfied with the ending, this did not rank as highly for me as the first book. Like the others, this one is well written & filled with lush detail. I liked Willa very much initially but there was so much back & forth with she & Seamie that I honestly began not to care (especially because I figured the formula for the prior two books would prevail & starcrossed lovers would get their happy ending). The happy ending is a bit more bittersweet for Seamie & Willa but it exists nonetheless. I had true care for Jennie but she lost me when she & Josie embarked on their scheme. I lost a lot of respect for Jennie & knew (per the prior two books) that the trope would play out in such a way that she would lose everything. So that, much like a lot of the story, was just waiting for the inevitable. There were also what have now in the series become, reliable conveniences to make things work out or not. This being the third installment & the mains being less endearing, it plays out as more unforgivable contrivance than the same did in "The Tea Rose". Also, there's enough reference to the happenings in the second book (& some of the first) that one really can skip the middle book & not miss much.

    All that said, I did find this one more enjoyable than the second in the series. In the end, the "Rose" that could never be compared or magic recaptured was Fiona. Ingrid nor Willa ever matched my interest in her & Joe's story. I did like that Fiona & Joe were carried through in all the books, I think they provided a much needed anchor.
  • (3/5)
    While I didn't read the first two book in the series I was able to pick up the plot line. The Wild Rose is full of romance and historical detail. There were some interesting subplots too. The author used short chapters and a lot of characters to move the 600 page book along. I will now have to go back and read The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose.
  • (4/5)
    Summary: Seamie Finnegan, famous polar explorer, lost the woman he loves in a mountaineering accident on Kilimanjaro. Willa Alden isn't dead, but when her leg had to be amputated, her spirit went with it, and, blaming Seamie, she fled to the far East. Seamie's never been able to move on, but when he meets a charming young teacher, he's willing to try. Jennie gets pregnant, and she and Seamie get married, but soon Seamie runs into Willa - home for her father's funereal - and it becomes clear that the passion between them never really died. But World War I is looming large on the horizon, and both Seamie and Willa want to do the right thing... but is the damage they've done - to others and to their own hearts - too much to repair?Review: I thoroughly enjoyed The Tea Rose, and absolutely loved The Winter Rose, so I was bummed out that I wound up not enjoying The Wild Rose as much as I expected to. I can't tell if it's a fault with the book, or a fault with my mood, or a combination of both, but for some reason, it just didn't work for me. The Roses books are in a lot of ways pretty formulaic, but I often don't mind predictable books, as long as they're engaging. In the case of The Wild Rose, though, either it was way more predictable than its predecessors, or else my tolerance for such things was lower than normal. Similarly, I don't remember the first two Roses books being models of subtle prose, but in this case, I kept noticing (and being annoyed by) Donnelly over-explaining her characters' thoughts and feelings that could easily have been left implicit. Not to mention the lengthy recaps of events from earlier books that plagued the first section of this one...Another part of the problem, certainly, is that I didn't connect with Seamie and Willa nearly as much as I did with India and Sid, or even Fiona and Joe. I've got limited patience with tortured long-suffering romances of the "I know I'm behaving badly and I want to do the right thing but I just can't stop" variety: Yes you can! Your behavior is entirely under your control! Seamie was personable enough, but not very sympathetic; Willa was just prickly and distant. Donnelly does do a wonderful job of bringing her time period and her settings to life. I've read comparably little World War I fiction, and this is the first I've read that looks at the course of the war in the Middle East (and stars Lawrence of Arabia!), so I appreciated how vividly Donnelly was able to depict that section of the book. And, really, there is something to be said for books that are comfortable and familiar in their pacing and plotting. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, but I just wanted something more out of this one, and sadly, it failed to recapture the magic of The Winter Rose for me. 3.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: It's a pretty easy read despite its length, so if you like WWI-era romances, dive right in. If you're looking for historical romance more generally, though, I think either of this book's predecessors were more compelling reads.
  • (3/5)
    I hate to say it, but I couldn't bring myself to fall in love with this as I had with The Tea Rose and The Winter Rode. Fiona and India's were told so delicately, but it wasn't as easy to love Willa. There were so many characters, and I had grown tired of the same plot line with star-crossed lovers. Three-quarters of the way through, I read the epilogue and decided that I couldn't bring myself to finish this trilogy the way it deserved. While I gave the first two 4 stars, The Wild Rose only received 3.
  • (3/5)
    The final in the "Rose" trilogy, and probably the weakest of the three. Despite this, it is still an engrossing read with a wide cast of characters and dealing with a goodly amount of issues, mostly centered around World War I, which sounds to have been complete Hell on Earth. However, the obsessive relationship between Seamus and Willa got a little too much at times - the fact that despite the events in their life and the time spent apart, neither could truly give their heart to another. This may be considered romantic by some, but to me it was impratical and somewhat unbelieveable, especially with the lovely Jennie in the mix. I found the conspiracies and the treacheries (of the war) and the lives of the other family members to be a far more rewarding experience than the mixed up emotions of love and selfish acts of the two main lovers. It is good to see appearances from Fiona and Joe (and their large brood), India and "Sid" along with the assorted other inlaws that we've grown fond of through this trilogy. However, it was an epic tome of a book that required far too much lugging around and took me longer to read than intended.

  • (4/5)
    I am a big fan of Jennifer Donnelly and have loved all of her other books but this one fell short for me. I wasn't as invested in Seamie's and Willa's story as I was with Fiona/Joe and India/Sid. The one thing that I did love though was the vivid imagery that Donnelly always uses in all of her books. Not saying i didn't like it, but, to me, it didn't live up to its predecessors.
  • (4/5)
    *I received this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.*I loved Donnelly's previous two novels in the "Rose" trilogy and was not disappointed by its conclusion in The Wild Rose. Seamus and Willa, along with their family and friends, are engaging characters whose dramatic journeys - both physical and emotional - shape the core of this novel. I enjoyed the variety in locations, moving from the mountains of Tibet, to the sands of Arabia, to London mansions. Seamus and Willa live in a rich, well-developed historical world and Donnelly does an excellent job of bring the era of the First World War to life in vivid detail. Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Wow. Donnelly's Rose books had a long wait time in between them (published in 2002, 2006, and 2011), but just a quick glance at the bibliography at the end of her last will give you a clue about the amazing amount of research that went into these books--and it was all worth it. The Wild Rose, like its predecessors, is a sweeping, epic drama that tells the story of its two main characters (Seamie Finnegan, the youngest Finnegan sibling, and Willa Alden--and if you've read book two, you were anxiously awaiting their story!) but also gives a rich and colorful look at the time in which it is set. It is so much more than just the story of those two people, so much more than just a family saga. The Wild Rose encompasses the years 1913-1919 and takes place on three continents--Europe, Asia, and Africa. We witness the struggle for women's suffrage as it rages in London, observe MPs in the House of Commons struggle between funding programs for British working class citizens or building up their Navy, and we see behind the scenes as a spy network flourishes behind the scenes, ferreting information between London and Berlin. We are heartbroken by the devestation of war not on the front, but with the families of men who don't come home--as well as those who do. For fans of the series, it's not to be missed. For those of us who haven't read The Tea Roase and The Winter Rose since their publication, she does do an excellent job of reminding us of the whos and whats we need to recall to make sense of the plot of this one, but if you haven't read the first two books in the series yet I strongly recommend doing so before tackling this one. You won't be sorry you did!
  • (5/5)
    Great story and an amazing end to the trilogy! I am truly sorry that this story cannot go on... The characters are wonderful, the story emotional and intriguing. I will recommend this series as one of the best ever - and I don't mean that lightly. Ms. Donnelly wraps up this epic series wonderfully with numerous twists and turns thrown in to keep the reader on their proverbial toes.
  • (5/5)
    In this last book of the Rose trilogy, Donnelly doesn't disappoint. Along with sharing more news on the characters we grew to love in books 1 and 2, she embellishes on the lives of Willa and Seamus. These star-crossed lovers from book 2 find more than they'd bargained for when their paths cross once more in "The Wild Rose." When World War I breaks out, we're treated to scandal, spies, murder, and adventures that leave readers on the edge of their seats. "The Wild Rose" is a final tribute to the Finnegan family, and weaves all the pieces from the series into one satisfying conclusion.
  • (5/5)
    It's 1914. England is about to declare war on Germany. The world is going to change forever, yet no one can dream of the devastation about to engulf the human race. Women are fighting for the right to vote. Explorers have landed on the South Pole and many are fighting to reach the peaks of the Himalayas. Set within this tumultuous time are Seamus Finnegan and Willa Alden, two people so meant to be together, yet so devastatingly torn apart.Having successfully reached the South Pole, Seamus has become a famed explorer. He has all he needs....a family that loves him, peers seeking his company on future explorations, a passion that he has fulfilled. But yet....the fire in his eyes is missing.....his soul is void without its other half. He can never feel complete without Willa. But Willa made it clear...she walked away from him. She left him. She blamed him for the loss of her leg. She blamed him for the loss of her dreams.Willa is living in Tibet, forever bound to the marvelous mountains that stole her leg. She lives with constant pain and overwhelming regret, both of which she tries to drown with pills, drugs and reckless risk-taking. She shouldn't have left Seamus. He is the other half of herself. She realizes this too late. She wants to go to him, to travel back to London and tell him she loves him, but too many years have passed and he would never forgive her. So, she continues on her isolated journey. Until.....word comes to Willa that her father is dying. She must get to him. She must travel back to London. It is at her father's funeral that Willa sees Seamus, and the pull between them is undeniable. And so is the fact that Seamus is now married to another woman, someone he thought would make him happy, someone he thought would make him forget Willa.Opening this book was like visiting with old friends....no matter how long you've been apart, you settle right back into each other...familiar and true. It was exactly a year ago that I began this journey with these amazing characters. I met Fiona and Joe in the "Tea Rose" and instantly I was hooked. Right away I reached for the second book and not only found myself reunited with familiar characters, but I was rooting for Fiona's long lost brother and notorious crime boss, Sid, in "The Winter Rose". The adventure continues in this third and final installment, "The Wild Rose", where the story centers upon Seamus and Willa. But this book is not just a love story. It is so much more. Through these unforgettable characters, the author realistically and historically explores a time period filled with spies, villains, political struggles, and war heroes, including the legendary Lawrence of Arabia. The plot is complex, with twists and turns that had me at the edge of my seat, my finger hovering to turn the page and continue the exciting pace of the book. How Jennifer Donnelly manages to connect all threads of this vast story is unbelievable and yet, very believable. She is a true talent. She gives her readers an emotional ride. She strips her characters bare, all flaws there for the viewing, and yet the reader urges them on, willing them to get up and move on...to fight....to live.....to love. So often I wanted to reach out and slap Willa, knock some sense into her, make her stop her self-destruction. There is no fluffy happily ever after. The love story is hard-fought, with fate pushing the lovers together, only to be lost to one another again.Jennifer Donnelly has written an epic tale filled with strife, love, war and destruction, both physical and emotional. Yet she manages to end her story with a sense of hope...a light at the end of the tunnel, not only for Seamus and Willa, but for the world itself: "They had torn themselves apart, she and Seamie. Years ago. Here in Africa. And then in 1914, the world had torn itself apart. Now they, and the world, would put themselves back together. Slowly, with pain, regret, and with hope, they would find the way forward. She didn't know how, exactly. She had no map. No answers. No guarantees. All she had was this day. This impossible mountain rising before her. This sun and this sky. This man and this child. This terrible, wonderful love. "I am sad to say goodbye to these amazing characters. It has been wonderful crying, laughing and loving with the Finnegan family. Perhaps we'll meet again, amidst the costermongers and the hard-working poor of London, where this trilogy began. Perhaps a new, younger member of the Finnegan family will continue the fight for the poor...perhaps a figure like the fiesty Katie. A reader can only hope.
  • (5/5)
    I love the Rose trilogy. I know they are books I will re-read many times over the years. The Wild Rose, the third installment, is not my favorite. ***Some spoilers for those of you who haven't read the first two books.*** This novel follows Seamie, the youngest Finnegan child, and is set during (and before and after) World War I. In the Winter Rose, we meet Seamie's romantic interest, Willa. They are mountain climbers, and at the end of The Winter Rose, Willa is badly injured and leaves Seamie. Like Fiona and Joe, and Sid and India, we know Seamie and Willa are meant to be together. However, I don't believe in their chemistry as well as the other Rose couples. Their major relationship snag (because of course there has to be at least one) is that Seamie marries someone else - Jennie. Willa is off mountaineering and avoiding Seamie, so what else was he to do? Jennie is infinitely more likeable than Willa, in my opinion, even though she definitely has her faults. Willa whines about her missing leg, her missing Seamie, and yet doesn't do anything about them. But of course she comes home, and she and Seamie begin an affair. This is why I don't love this novel - having recently gotten married, I don't like reading about infidelity, even under the guise of True Love. The romance storyline aside, however, the rest of the book is what I would expect from Jennifer Donnelly. In-depth characters (whether they're likeable or not), and rich historical details. The war plot was very interesting (complete with spies on both sides), and the ending was satisfactory - Donnelly is not one for tying things up super neatly, but I think it ended as best as could be expected. So, as a complete trilogy, highly recommended. But The Winter Rose is my favorite.
  • (3/5)
    I did not read the first two books in this series and while each book can stand on its own one does feel a touch lost when characters show up from previous books. I just didn't feel as connected as I might have if I had started at the beginning. The ancillary characters and their actions weren't as meaningful. That being said I found that I did enjoy the tale of Willa and Seamus for all of its histrionics. It's a classic they love each other/they hate each other/they love each other again sweeping type of romance set against the backdrop of the South Pole and the Himalayas. With scenery like that and the addition of the onset of WWI drama is a big part of this tale.Willa and Seamus are soulmates and we all know that but it takes tragedy and time for them to figure it out for themselves. Fortunately there is enough meat in the telling that I was kept interested to the end. I now find myself wanting to pick up the first two books in the series so I can complete my rose garden.
  • (3/5)
    I did not read the first two books in this series and while each book can stand on its own one does feel a touch lost when characters show up from previous books. I just didn't feel as connected as I might have if I had started at the beginning. The ancillary characters and their actions weren't as meaningful. That being said I found that I did enjoy the tale of Willa and Seamus for all of its histrionics. It's a classic they love each other/they hate each other/they love each other again sweeping type of romance set against the backdrop of the South Pole and the Himalayas. With scenery like that and the addition of the onset of WWI drama is a big part of this tale.Willa and Seamus are soulmates and we all know that but it takes tragedy and time for them to figure it out for themselves. Fortunately there is enough meat in the telling that I was kept interested to the end. I now find myself wanting to pick up the first two books in the series so I can complete my rose garden.
  • (4/5)
     Book 3 of the Trilogy. The Finnegan's story continues with Fiona and Joe back in London - Joe becoming an MP fighting on the rights of the poor; We get to know Fiona's little brother Shamus, all grown up and Willa Alden. The War with Germany breaks out. Espionage is within the circle of trusted friends and family. A lot goes on in this book to keep you guessing; but it comes down to being a love story, of course. I enjoyed it, getting to know all the family members and new cast of characters but what I really did not enjoy is the disregard for Jenny for a happy ending at the expense of innocents. Sorry to see the end but ready to move on to something else!.
  • (2/5)
    Although I wasn’t too keen on the first two books in this trilogy—The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose—I picked this one up hoping my mind had changed. Each book in the story offers a different perspective on one family at the turn of the century; this book begins just before WWI and focuses on Seamie and Willa. I think the story is meant to be fast-paced and give the reader a good overview of early 20th century history, but the story lines were so unrealistic and predictable that I had a hard time finishing the book. There were so many characters and coincidences that the book got pretty convoluted after a while. The characters’ dialogue also didn’t seem era-appropriate. This might be a good book if you’re looking for a period romance, but be prepared to suspend disbelief at the plot and characters.
  • (4/5)
    NOTE: This review is a review of all three books in the Rose Trilogy.Don’t take this the wrong way, but the books in the Rose Trilogy reminded me of the Danielle Steel books I used to devour when I was 14-years old … and I mean that in the very best way!!I used to love Danielle Steel’s books (though I’ve “outgrown” them after being exposed to a “better” class of books) because they featured heroines who experienced all these ups and downs but who eventually triumphed over difficulties to have amazing lives. Plus they also had complicated and often tragic love lives. The Rose Trilogy has all these same elements … except with better writing and historical detail!!The Rose Trilogy focuses on the Finnegan family—a close-knit family from the hardscrabble section of London known as Whitechapel. Family members include: family patriarch Paddy, whose leadership in the nascent union movement leads to tragedy; his wife Kate, who struggles to keep the family together despite multiple difficulties; Fiona, the oldest daughter, who is in love with the boy down the street; Charlie, the oldest son, who contributes what he can to family finances, even when that means walking on the edge of what is legal; and Seamus, the youngest son, who is just 5 years old in the first book but is featured front and center in the final book of the series.We first meet the Finnegans in The Tea Rose. It is the 1880s in East London, and a murderer named Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the area. (Donnelly even goes so far as to unmask Jack’s “true” identity in the book.) The Tea Rose of the title refers to Fiona Finnegan, the feisty daughter who is in love with a coster (veggie salesman) named Joe Bristow. They are saving every bit of their meager wages to open up a shop of their own. However, tragedy hits the family and Joe betrays Fiona in the worst way possible—leaving Fiona and Seamus in desperate straits. Fleeing to America, Fiona struggles to survive in New York City, where she vows revenge on the man who ruined her family.The opening book sets the tone for the entire trilogy: star-crossed lovers; continual setbacks and obstacles; rich historical detail (Donnelly isn’t afraid to incorporate real-life historical figures such as George Mallory, Jack the Ripper and Lawrence of Arabia into her books), and a plot that keeps you wondering what will befall her beleaguered characters next. (Some pretty hot and heavy sex scenes are sprinkled throughout too!) Although there is a fair amount of coincidence that strains the limits of believability, just forget all that and enjoy the ride.The second book, The Winter Rose, has a new “rose” as its center—Dr. India Selwyn-Jones, an idealistic young doctor who dreams of opening a clinic for women and children in poverty-stricken Whitechapel. Just like Fiona in the first book, India must deal with an evil man set on ruining her life while struggling with her attraction to a criminal named Sid Malone. The book moves from London to Africa and also introduces readers to Seamus as a young man. Fiona makes periodic appearances but isn’t the primary focus of the book. Although it sounds like the book doesn’t focus as much on the Finnegan family, I’ll leave you to discover why that isn’t true!The third and final book, The Wild Rose, features Willa Alden, the great love of Seamus Finnegan’s life, as its rose. “Wild” is the right word to describe Willa, who readers first meet in The Winter Rose. She is a fearless mountaineer who defies expectations of what women can and should do, despite a significant handicap after an accident on Mt. Kilimanjaro (which takes place in the second book). Like the other two books, this book starts in London before moving the action to Arabia during World War I.Each book is a chunkster (all of them are 500+ pages) and requires a fairly decent time commitment, but they are the type of chunksters that move along at a steady clip. My biggest criticism is the amount of coincidence that propels the plots, but don’t let that stop you from reading the books. This was historical fiction at its best: fast-paced, far-ranging and drama-filled. I enjoyed the series immensely, and thank Jill at Rhapsody in Books for turning me on to this series. I would have never picked these books up on my own as historical fiction isn’t my preferred genre and the staid covers don’t give you a full sense of all the action, drama and romance that pack the pages inside. Highly recommended!
  • (4/5)
    Note: No spoilers are contained in this reviewThis is the third book in The Tea Rose Series, which is a historical fiction saga of the Finnegan family beginning in the late 1800s with The Tea Rose, continuing with The Winter Rose, and ending, with this book, just after World War I. To punctuate the story's grandeur, many of the chapters end with highly suspenseful cliffhangers. It is written as a stand alone, so the background from the first two books is filled in throughout the story. Nevertheless, one wouldn’t want to skip the first two, because, although this book is very good and I couldn’t put it down, the first two are superb, with The Winter Rose being my favorite. Perhaps the main drawback with this one is that two of the main characters, Willa and Max, are not very likable. Max, in fact, is downright abhorrent (though he is meant to be), but I think Willa (“the wild rose”) is intended to be every bit the heroine that Fiona and India were in the previous books. Instead, she comes off as too immature and self-absorbed, while Katie, the daughter of Joe and Fiona (whose story is the focus of the first book), steals the show in the background. Sid, the hero of book two, brightens up the book by megawatts in his too infrequent appearances in book three; there is no one in this book to match his character and charisma. Seamie, the brother of Fiona and Sid, could have been that character, but Donnelly unfortunately gave him a back seat to Willa and Max. The historical landscape is given contours by Donnelly's meticulous research and evocative prose as she takes us on a journey from London to Tibet and Africa and the Middle East. She puts us in the desert with Lawrence of Arabia in a cinematic way that comes as close to David Lean’s 1962 epic as I have seen done in print. The burning heat, gritty sand, unrelenting thirst, and myriad dangers are all there in vivid color, and yet it is rendered only in black and white. In the mountains of Tibet, we shudder at the astounding cold and frostbite; in Africa, we feel the awe of magnificent vistas of sun and sky and herds of wild animals; in the excitement at the Royal Geographical Society in London, we catch the fever of explorers, including Ernest Shackleton and George Mallory, as they prepare to conquer the last remaining frontiers on the earth. And we come to understand the horror of shell shock that destroyed so many lives in World War I. Running through it all are the ties of family and romance, love and betrayal, and a “terrible, wonderful love” between two of the characters that affects so many others who come into their lives.Evaluation: This is a symphonic narrative, bringing together a stunning mix of characters both real and imagined, at a historical time of incredible progress and creativity, as well as war, disease, and the depths of despair that accompany them. The characters struggle against passionate unfulfilled longing, cupidity, madness, and despair. They remind us that even in the worst of times, there are people who, inspired by love, can summon reserves of decency, courage, and dedication to fight against boundless grief and endless evil, and to pull out triumphs, no matter how small, from the wreckage.These characters, and their stories, are unforgettable.
  • (4/5)
    Review originally published on blogcritics.org Called by The Washington Post Book World as “a master of pacing and plot,” Donnelly paints with a vivid palette of espionage, blackmail, steamy romance, exotic places, women’s suffrage and politics. She is a born storyteller. The Wild Rose, her final installment of a trilogy is jam-packed with historical fiction, romance and adventure.Drink mint tea in a Bedouin tent after desert wanderings sustained only by water, dates and courage. Ride an omnibus as it belches and careens over London’s cobblestone streets. Watch a photo shoot of an avant-garde composer in Paris as the sun sets. Vivid description flows through this narrative as it travels from 1914 London to the mountains of Nepal and the Arabian Desert.We are reunited with old friends Fiona and Joe Bristow, Sid Malone and his wife, Dr. India Selwyn Jones. Highlighted are Seamie Finnegan, famous polar explorer and Willa Alden, the “wild rose” and apparent heroine. Willa photographs and maps the Himalayas with a prosthetic leg. Seamie can’t decide what woman he loves and winds up a captain in the British navy. Handsome Max von Brandt, a German mountaineer who toys with women for his own advantage, is a colorful, man-you-love-to-hate character. Maud Selwyn Jones, a scandalous lady novelist, is married to one man and mistress to another.Extensive period detail entrenches us in the historical setting. After seventy pages of the main characters’ back stories from The Tea Rose (2002) and The Winter Rose, (2008), the book takes off at a fast clip. Women seek equal rights in England. Climbers scale mountains in Nepal. Anxious people wait for news of their loved ones at war. Love, lust, jealousy, deception and action-packed adventure intertwine. World War I looms before us. The Dali Lama, Ernest Shackleton, Lawrence of Arabia and Winston Churchill make appearances.Reading the other books in the trilogy will enhance your enjoyment of The Wild Rose, but in case you haven’t, Donnelly fills us in on sufficient background. That attempt proves a bit mind-boggling due to the myriad of characters and sub-plots it produces. Sadly, minor roles are given to some of the characters I came to love in the first two books.The novel does yield a refreshing dose of adventure not found in the first part of the trilogy. Their appeal lies in Donnelly’s strong, never-give-up female characters, Fiona and India. That element is curiously lacking in The Wild Rose. Here, the author chooses a different tack.A third book in any trilogy is tricky. Donnelly turns the tables on us by giving her main characters a surprising twist. In The Wild Rose, main characters Willa and Seamie are unlikable, self-absorbed people. Driven Willa uses any quest (mountain, man or fame) as a coping mechanism for her inability to accept her lost limb. When Seamie marries Jenny we are hopeful, but he soon becomes devoid of backbone or honor until the end of the book. Not villains, Willa and Seamie are simply flawed humans clawing their way out of their misery. Some readers may balk at this abrupt change in writing technique. This reviewer found it refreshing. Irritating characters can be more interesting than protagonists. Changing things up a bit is a bold author’s prerogative.Some of the book’s themes converge on our current world state, elevating the book’s relevance. Political intricacies, horrors of war, drug abuse, and economic crisis mirror many issues facing us today.Despite the fact that I longed for more character development and fewer characters, I couldn’t put the book down. The plot twists seemed outrageous at times, but the novel is engrossing and seductive. Donnelly has a vivid imagination and it gushes through her writing.Hyperion graciously supplied the review copy. Opinions expressed are unbiased and wholly that of the reviewer.Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
  • (4/5)
    ** The Wild Rose is the 3rd book in the Tea Rose Trilogy. There are slight spoilers for the previous two books in this review**


    The Wild Rose continues on with the story of Willa Alden and Seamus Finnegan. By the end of The Winter Rose, Seamus and Willa have gone separate ways. Willa is bitter at having had her leg amputated after the Kilimanjaro climb went horribly wrong and blames Seamus. Seamus, meanwhile, is licking his wounds as he figures out how to deal with her. When The Wild Rose opens up not much has changed between the pair. Seamus is trying to continue on with his life in England, while Willa is off having a Pity Party of One up in the Himalayas.

    Unlike the previous two books, where I was in love with the romantic pairing, I never found myself endeared to either Willa or Seamus. Willa comes off as a selfish, ungrateful brat. What I didn’t get is that she didn’t start out this way. In The Winter Rose, I had high hopes for her. She seemed like an intelligent, athletically strong young lady who wanted to keep up with the boys. I got that. But then the ill fated Kilimanjaro trip happened and Willa lost her leg along with the rest of her personality. She became this bitter character intent on placing blame on the most innocent person, Seamus. Her reason for becoming bitter? Because she could no longer climb. Now I could understand this to a certain point and was even a bit sympathetic to her in Winter Rose. However, it’s a few years down the line, chick has a new leg and climbing all over the Himalayas taking beautiful pictures, tracking out pathways for future climbers and hobnobbing with the Dalai Lama. I’m sorry Willa take your little violin and shove it up your pie hole! That “excuse” is no longer valid and blaming Seamie was plain stupid. I was over her excuses by the second chapter.

    Seamie also wasn’t much better. A wannabe be debonair rogue charming the pantaloons off whatever women he came into contact with in an effort to forget Willa. I felt like shaking him, telling him to grow a pair and freaking communicate. For FFS, he can trek all the way to Antarctica, but he can’t trek to the Himalayas or send a letter letting Willa know he still loves her. Lame. Just plain lame.

    So yeah, as you can tell from my rant in those two paragraphs I never really warmed up to this couple. I didn’t feel sorry for them. I couldn’t even relate. I didn’t feel anything towards them other than frustration at the lack of communication and self-pitying that the both of them did. What I loved about the other couples was that they were altruistic and loving. Unfortunately, Willa and Seamus only thought about themselves. Towards the end… when they finally got back together I didn’t really care. I thought they deserved each other as they’re both pretty damn selfish.

    What made this book for me were the secondary characters. I loved getting to see what became of Fiona’s and Sid’s families. Fiona and Joe are my favorite pairing of the trilogy and they further charmed the pants out of me in this book. They’re just fabulously written characters and I love them. Even their kids, like Katie, are pretty awesome. I also loved Max von Brandt, who turned out to be a very complex character. Overall, it was these secondary storylines that kept the book moving for me. I do have to point out that Donnelly once again pulls out all the drama by having the characters hobnob with a ton of famous people and there are a lot of unrealistic scenes, but I expected this from reading the last two in the series and didn’t mind it at all.

    I also have to say that I listened to the audio of this and it was fantastic. I thought Jill Tanner did a fabulous job of bringing the story to life.