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The Wild Rose

The Wild Rose

4.2 93
by Jennifer Donnelly

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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, continuing the story of the Finnegan family. With fabulous period detail, myriad twists


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, continuing the story of the Finnegan family. With fabulous period detail, myriad twists and turns, and thrilling cliff-hangers, The Wild Rose is the highly satisfying conclusion to an unforgettable trilogy that began with The Tea Rose and continued with The Winter Rose-and an utterly captivating read in its own right.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...enjoy the ride: 600-plus pages of romance, harrowing exploits, cinematic backdrops, cliffhangers, and plot twists."—Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Winter Rose:

"Mix Gangs of New York, Romeo and Juliet, and Oliver Twist, and get a passionate tale propelled by sophisticated plotting, cleverly disguised motives, and intriguingly entangled characters."

Romantic Times Book Review
Praise for The Winter Rose:

"A lush story of epic proportions . . . Donnelly peoples her book with larger-than-life characters whose tragedies and triumphs lift your heart and soul."

Washington Post Book World
Praise for The Winter Rose:

"If Jennifer Donnelly doesn't watch out, she's going to get a reputation. With the publication of The Winter Rose, she proves that her first fast, fat and fun historical novel--The Tea Rose--wasn't a fluke. She's a master of pacing and plot, with enough high points scattered throughout to keep your pulse racing . . . I read the last third at near-choking speed . . . I imagine you will, too."

Barbara Taylor Bradford
Praise for The Winter Rose:

"I loved this book. It is truly seductive, hard to put down, filled with mystery, secret passions, unique locations, and a most engaging heroine . . . She captivates from the first page to the last."

Library Journal
As in Donnelly's The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose, a pair of lovers must survive misunderstandings, betrayals, physical dangers, and emotional upheavals before they find happiness. After a climbing mishap on Kilimanjaro, Seamus Finnegan manages to save Willa Alden's life, but she loses one of her legs. Embittered and despairing, Willa seeks refuge in Tibet, while Seamus gains fame through polar expeditions. When the novel opens eight years later, in 1914, Europe is poised on the brink of war. Amid social and political ferment, Seamus marries Jennie Wilcott, pregnant with his child. Willa's return for her father's funeral results in a passionate affair that ends abruptly when Willa's brother confronts her. By 1918, Willa is using her photography skills in Arabia to support Tom (T.E.) Lawrence's spy network, while Seamus commands a navy ship in the Mediterranean. Their paths converge at several points as they survive disasters such as a plane crash, a submarine attack, imprisonment, and torture. Familiar characters from the earlier novels also reappear. VERDICT Donnelly skillfully integrates historical detail while entwining multiple plotlines in a fast-paced narrative. Readers of the earlier books will be especially eager for this volume, which should also earn the author new fans.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Mankato
Kirkus Reviews

Want to end the war to end all wars? Put a mountaineer—and a woman mountaineer—to the task.

Willa Alden isn't just any mountaineer, at least not by genre novelist Donnelly's account. In a thick, overly long narrative peopled by a few returnees fromThe Winter Rose (2008, etc.), Willa is a standout, admirable in her many strengths. But then, just about everyone in this story is strong in his or her own métier, from Winston Churchill to charm-the-pants-off-anyone Kaiserian spy Max von Brandt. Heck, even the Dalai Lama is a brick—and a pal of Willa's, natch, who "on occasion...would drink with her, sing Tibetan songs with her, and swap bawdy stories." But all these are wimps next to Willa's true amour, Seamus Finnegan, fearless polar explorer and breathless lover, who has gotten himself into countless scrapes with her and left her wanting only once, and then by way of something in a limb. (You'll have to read the book for the details.) "You're a very dashing figure, you know," says one admirer of Seamie's. "You've achieved so much, done so many amazing things." Seamie knows, yet the one thing he wants eludes him. Meanwhile, old Max is up to no good, for these, after all, are the stirring years of World War I, and his job is to embarrass smarty-pants Britons and exalt Teutons everywhere. By the end of this endless exercise in historical fiction, one that gets all the details right except the way people spoke to each other a century ago, Max, Seamie and Willa have been replaying the Perils of Pauline in the company of Lawrence of Arabia, a perplexing and improbable turn of events that at least moves the plot along. Thank goodness Willa has picked up conversational Arabic and Turkish along the way. "Jamal Pasha is coming! Jamal Pasha is coming!"

But is Max that much a rotter, and Seamie that much a hero? Read this aspirational potboiler and find out. Or not.

Product Details

Hachette Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.68(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Barbara Taylor Bradford
"I loved this book. It is truly seductive, hard to put down, filled with mystery, secret passions, unique locations, and a most engaging heroine . . . She captivates from the first page to the last."
—Barbara Taylor Bradford, author of A Woman of Substance and Playing the Game

Meet the Author

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, the children's book A Northern Light, and a young adult novel, Revolution. She lives in Tivoli, New York, with her husband and daughter.

Customer Reviews

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Wild Rose 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
ErinAre More than 1 year ago
All I can say is . WOW!! If Tea Rose and Winter Rose were turned up to 11 in terms of drama, emotion, plot twists and unforgettable characters, Wild Rose is turned up to - I don't know - 12? 20?? This absolutely lives up to its predecessors, and then some. It's tied with Winter Rose for my favorite of the three . but everyone has a different favorite for different reasons! I could gush for pages, as this is very fresh on my mind - but I don't want to spoil it. So I'll just cover some of the big, general questions I had while waiting (and waiting . and waiting) for this book. First, everyone is back! Joe and Fiona, Charlie and India, and of course Seamie and Willa (whom the story is centered on). It's like a family reunion! There's a very lovely scene on a happy occasion where Fiona is looking out at (almost all of) her extended family and I must say I had tears in my eyes taking it all in through her perspective. I felt like it was my family, I know them all so well. These characters don't just make an appearance, either - they all have real roles in the plot . which, as you can imagine, is a huge, sprawling story. (I think it's the most complex plot of the three - and that's saying something!) Real history - and real historical figures - are present in a big way. Biggest yet, I think. See if you don't fall in love with Tom Lawrence (THE Tom Lawrence . of Arabia)! The villain is creepy and great. It's hard to top Jack the Ripper for badness, but we get closer to the bad guy in The Wild Rose - and he's a really compelling character. Which makes him even more scary somehow ... There are big plot twists, of course -- as you'd expect (and I won't spoil). Some I saw coming a mile away, some took me completely by surprise. It's an emotional rollercoaster. The love story is very hard won (as usual) - but this one is grittier and maybe a little bittersweet (but no less powerful - their love is deep and intense). There's more emotional weight to their relationship and less of the protagonists just missing each other. They're not perfect; everyone is scarred and flawed. This all occurs amidst the horrors and heartbreak of World War I, and the suffering of that conflict is laid bare. The ending is as lyrical as the others, and knowing I was at the conclusion of such a long and engrossing three-volume story left me feeling like I was saying farewell to a dear old friend. This is the most sequelly of the three - you can read this one first, or even by itself, but I think it's best read after the others in the series. There are so many characters coming back into this one that you'll miss out if you don't know their history. Finally, maybe this is just wishful thinking and I know there are only supposed to be three books in this series. But, see, Joe and Fiona have this beautiful, feisty and ambitious daughter -- and she, it turns out, is a chip off the old block . I have read so many thirds/lasts in a series that were disappointing. I'm very happy to say this isn't one of them. I think Donnelly took the time to do this one right. I guess that's why it took so long! Enjoy this - if you enjoyed the other Rose books, I'm sure you will. And thank you Jennifer Donnelly for this unforgettable, epic tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't finished reading this last book, and I'm not sure I will as it has become increasingly hard to read. I find Seamie and Willa's character hard to like (nevermind love) and even harder to forgive. The first two books were definitely better. My recommendation at this point would be to forget about this book altogether, and just read "The Tea Rose" and "The Winter Rose".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book but beware Nook users...some pages are missing in the electronic version. It's frequent enough to be very irritating. Buy the hard copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had planned to just read the first in the series, but enjoyed it so much I bought the second and loved it even more. As soon as The Wild Rose was available, I bought it. Great writing by Jennifer Donnelly. Her historical research was amazing. I actually "liked" the main characters in the first two books better than the main characters in The Wild Rose. However, the rest of the family are still around in this book which made this also an excellent "read". Jennifer Donnelly really brought all these characters to life. I hope she is writing additional books!
andreaOK More than 1 year ago
Love this author! Why isn't a Nook version available for pre-order on this book??
AngieJG More than 1 year ago
Wow, I am exhausted. The Wild Rose took me on a wild ride. I read the two other books that are part of the trilogy. I liked them. I like all of the characters and history in each book. This book, however, got a little too "Indiana Jones" for me. Donnelly did not need so many different threads throughout the story. My goodness, the reader is all over the place. So many MAJOR things happen to a handful of people over a short period of time. I would have preferred if some of the threads were taken out, and others more focused. The book is entirely readable, the way a soap opera is to watch. You want to know what is going to happen, you can't put the darn thing down. But I prefer when the historical novels stick a little closer to the history, and make more realistic scenes. The woman with one leg tramping through the desert with Lawrence of Arabia! Willa seemed to get special treatment all the way around. There were also so many near death experiences that it made the story that much harder to believe. Some historical novels, you can lose yourself in. You really feel these things are happening, and that you are there. But so many scenes from this book are so unreal, you find yourself giggling throughout the book. All of this said, I did enjoy the trilogy. #3 was just a bit much for me. There is no need to overwhelm readers with such massive plot. Some of the simplest stories, make the best stories. 3.5 stars
TinaMarina More than 1 year ago
Not quite as good as the first two, but still an excellant read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely wonderful end to this trilogy. I stumbled on the Tea Rose in November and immediately read Wild Rose and Winter Rose. There are enough twists and turns throughout to keep you staying up late into the night. At times I was upset with the direction but just when I thought it was going one way she turned the corner and it righted itself... Cannot wait for another book by this author. There should be more books like this out there...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this series! Make sure youstart with book one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, with well-drawn characters and plot lines. It is definitely not necessary to read the first two novels in the trilogy, but it will make the experience even more enthralling if you do. Donnelly is a gifted writer. Don't miss this wonderful read.
readzalot2 More than 1 year ago
After reading The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose I had waited patiently for The Wild Rose...it was worth the wait! Jennifer Donnelly has a unique talent for creating characters you either root for or despise...all the while you just can't wait to see what happens next. Reading this book was a true delight and I was so sad when the book ended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down, it was so good just like Tea Rose, and Winter Rose. I think Ms. Donnelly is brilliant author. I hope to read more books by her. She is another one of my favourite writer.
Becky Templin More than 1 year ago
I loved these 3 books.Ifelt like i was there in London. Vvery well written.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Willa Alden and Seamus Finnegan, soul mates who cannot seem to find their way back to each other, are strong forces that propel the reader into a maelstrom that threatens to overwhelm at times. The Wild Rose is poignant, compelling and often heartbreaking. It takes the reader into the World War I era when social structures and ways of waging war changed forever. It is an amazing love story bit it also encompasses a world of social woes and inexplicable human emotions. The battle scars of living in hard times and in war time marks the lives of every character in this novel. Each character seems avidly committed to a cause that rules his or her life, a commitment that excludes happiness except in small increments, like brief glimpses of the sunshine on a dreary, cloudy day. Whether it is a quest, a duty, a strong sense of social justice, or a "calling", something demands the best and continual efforts of the characters at great personal expense. The Wild Rose is like a huge tapestry that records a significant time in history and in the lives of Willa, Seamus, their families, friends, and associates--some good and some not-so-good. Sophisticated espionage, political struggles, deplorable living condition in parts of London, and dedicated "do-gooders" (in the very best sense of the word) are background, an ever-present design, in the tapestry while Willa and her quest at wild, pristine Mount Everest stands out in bold. stark, detail showing all the beauty and danger. The part of the tapestry that shows life in London is crammed full of characters, a few add a touch of humor here and there, but most are serious and many have clandestine agendas that force them to lead doubt lives that create stress and sometimes irreparable hurt. After Mt. Kilimanjaro where Willa seemed to lose her dreams and her way after she left Seamus, she drives herself mercilessly using opiates to fight the pain of her amputated leg (and wounded soul) she photographs and writes about Mount Everest as battles the cold and makes her way in a unique culture of the people she lives among. Her heart still reaches out to Seamus but she denies herself not only him but also her family that worries about her. She is alone. Seamus, haunted by what happened at Kilimanjaro, longs for Willa down-deep in his soul. His is a bold design in The Wild Rose tapestry-a design that shows him beautifully male, desired by women, a rover, and polar explorer who slips into a marriage, then into the thick of navel operation in the Mediterranean that finally lands him in a prisoner of war camp in the African desert. After the war, Seamus' design in the tapestry changes to less bold as the bonds with his little son. As the Willa design and the Seamus design weave in close to each other then out again during both their near-death war experiences, the reader's breath is taken away by the barbarism and the covert operations that are carried out in such unfeeling ways. Finally the tenuous balance of winner and loser of the war finding a way back to some sort of normalcy for the good of humanity proves to be a fragile thread in the tapestry that could so easily break with just the wrong twist or pull. Read the Full Review at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
tori_g More than 1 year ago
I just completed the "Rose Series" in under a month. With all three books fresh in my mind, I'm sorry to say that this was my least favorite. If you haven't read these books, they all involve a fair amount of romance and action. However, I found the romantic relationship between the two main characters lacking. They were one another's "heart and soul" after a brief jaunt through Africa, one kiss, and years apart. Because I had a hard time accepting this unrealistic “heart and soul” business, I didn’t have much tolerance for the poor, damaging choices the characters made through the book. Aren’t you supposed to cheer for the main characters? Thankfully the book took a positive turn halfway through. There was more character development, and eventually I felt invested in their happiness. 
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I read the first book in this series, The Tea Rose, and loved it. The next one in the series, Winter Rose, was okay but not as enjoyable as the first book. The third book was below average. The characters were boring and uninteresting. What happened to the author? She really had me with the first book but the last two were disappointing. I finished Wild Rose but it was difficult and tedious. Recommend that people read the first book and forget the last two. Big disappointment.
arlenecap More than 1 year ago
I loved all the Tea Rose Books. This last one wrapped up all the lives of the family.
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