Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Review: The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Goodreads summary:  The vast multi-generational epic that began with The Tea Rose and continued with The Winter Rose now reaches its dramatic conclusion in The Wild Rose. 

London, 1914. World War I is looming on the horizon, women are fighting for the right to vote, and global explorers are pushing the limits of endurance at the Poles and in the deserts. Into this volatile time, Jennifer Donnelly places her vivid and memorable characters: 

- Willa Alden, a passionate mountain climber who lost her leg while climbing 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 woman back home in England. 

- Max von Brandt, a handsome sophisticate who courts high society women, but who has a secret agenda as a German spy; 
- and many others.

I am going to keep this one short and sweet (well maybe not so sweet), since I wasn’t asked to review this book. First off, let me tell you how much I LOVE Jennifer Donnelly. I have read all of her books and I pretty much beg people to read The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose. I have been waiting 5 LONG years for this book so you can imagine how I felt when it turned out to be such a disappointment. It took me 4 weeks to read. I just wasn’t interested in picking it up 

Donnelly’s previous two books were Epic romances with some crazy twists and turns that she managed to make believable. The Wild Rose on the other hand is completely unbelievable. I feel like the author just forced out this last book because she had a contract to fulfil and we have been waiting so long as it is. The ‘epic’ romance between Willa and Seamus was over shadowed by their adultery and delusions. Normally I always route for the soul mates; no matter what stands in their way, they should be together! But I just didn’t feel it this time. I had no sympathy or liking towards Willa.

My favourite character was poor Jennie. She was like a breath of fresh air blowing through all the heart ache and war. I felt so sorry for her, an innocent person, stuck in a marriage to a man who loves someone else. She is wronged throughout the book and it didn’t sit well with me.
I also felt that there was just too much going on in this book; too many sub plots, too many POVs. The story was written in a very similar way to the last books so I found it incredibly predictable, which made it boring.

I don’t want to tear this story apart. It did have some good moments. I loved seeing Sid and India again. I was intrigued by post-war England; shell-shocked soldiers returning home to a ruined economy. I also enjoyed Max, the villain of the story. I felt him and Josie were the only two characters with any real depth. It is the first time I have ever felt sympathy for the bad guy! So ya, I am glad I read it. I did enjoy moments of it. I just had such high expectations!

Evidently this was not short and sweet at all. The Wild Rose aside, I still urge you all to read The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose. They are amazing stories by a wonderful writer. While they are meant to be a trilogy you can definitely read them as standalone books! Despite this let down, I will still run out to buy any new book Donnelly writes. I have loved all her books; I just felt this was rushed and tired. It genuinely pains and upsets me, but I am only giving this one 2/5 Stars.


  1. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.....I am disappointed to hear this. Jennifer Donnelly is awesome...wonder what happened?


    I was waiting for this book too.

    I have it on my shelf, but wanted to save it for a time when I could "savor" it like I did the other two books. DARN!!

    Stop by my blog to see some flying bats at the bottom of the Blog Hop candy post. :)