The Rose of Sebastopol

The Rose of Sebastopol

3.4 15
by Katharine McMahon, Josephine Bailey

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The number-one U.K. bestseller comes to America—a sweeping historical novel about love, war, betrayal, and discovery.See more details below


The number-one U.K. bestseller comes to America—a sweeping historical novel about love, war, betrayal, and discovery.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Is love complicated or a complication? McMahon (The Alchemist's Daughter) explores this issue in this historical novel set during the Crimean War. Mariella Lingwood is a proper Victorian young lady. She is in love with a distant cousin and well-respected surgeon, Henry Thewell. But the relationship changes when Mariella's dear first cousin Rosa enters the picture. Henry and Rosa are in the Crimea as a surgeon and a nurse, respectively, and Henry falls ill and is sent to Italy to recover. When Mariella rushes to his side, it is Rosa's name he raves in his delirium. And when Rosa is reported missing, Mariella does something unexpected. She travels to the front lines of battle to search for her cousin and learn the truth. But in the midst of war, she finds chaos, which rattles the foundations of her existence, and Mariella must discover her strength and fight for what is truly important. McMahon's complex plot makes for an atypical but satisfying read, even if the ending feels a tad abrupt. Recommended for all fiction collections.
—Anna M. Nelson

Kirkus Reviews
An unusual and vivid historical novel tracks a feverish love triangle/mystery across the battlefields of the Crimean War. Freshness and energy drive McMahon's latest (The Alchemist's Daughter, 2006, etc.), which offers a socially alert tableau of mid-19th-century England as the background to an emotional drama, launched when Mariella Lingwood learns that her fiance, Dr. Henry Thewell, recently serving in the war against Russia, has fallen gravely ill. Mariella rushes to his side in Italy only to find him raving about her cousin Rosa, who had daringly joined the ranks of female nursing volunteers led by Florence Nightingale, tending the English soldiers fighting in Turkey as they suffered terribly from disease and fearful conditions. Rosa's war-front letters to Mariella have been almost as passionate in their avowals of commitment as Henry's, but has her cousin betrayed her after all? Mariella sets off for Constantinople to find Rosa and uncover the truth. McMahon depicts the battlefields as another shifting social panorama, this one shot with horror and corpses as well as issues of class and acceptable behavior. Here the story's momentum moves less dynamically, but over time Mariella, an unheroic heroine, learns to be of service, first to her sick servant, later to wounded soldiers. Still searching for her cousin, she falls in love with dashing Captain Max Stukeley and comes intuitively to understand Rosa's disappearance, while in the process awakening to a different sense of self. Marked by its passion and social commentary, this is a pleasingly unformulaic read, although its twin time frames and ending may not satisfy all readers. Agent: Mark Lucas/Lucas Alexander Whitley
From the Publisher
"A pleasingly unformulaic read." —Kirkus

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Product Details

Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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From the Publisher
"A pleasingly unformulaic read." —-Kirkus

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