The Power Of Dreams And The Bulldog Spirit
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is an epic historical read. Spanning the years from 1888 – 1898 and moving from the grimy streets of Jack the Ripper’s Whitehall to New York city, it really is a gripping read.
The novel shows the awful poverty at the time combined with the bulldog spirit of the people. “Life’s trials [were] easier to bear with a strong cup of tea in hand.” Sacrifices and love kept families together.
There is the theme of dreams. “The day you stop dreaming… you are as good as dead.” People will try to take your dreams from you but you need to dig deep and hold on. “Keep a hold of your dreams… never mind about people who tell you you can’t.” Hard work and perseverance will help you achieve your dreams.
There is the theme of love in the novel – all sorts of different types of love – family love, first love, friendship love and more. The bond of friendship ties in to this theme of love.
There are some hard hitting topics – murder, mayhem, conspiracy, revenge, gangs and more. Life in nineteenth century Whitehall was hard. Not only was there the poverty but there was fear – fear that Jack could be lurking around any corner. Jennifer Donnelly tells it as it was. She pulls no punches. Life was not nice but family and friends were loyal on the whole.
There were a few ‘bedroom’ scenes. These were not to my taste so I skipped over them. I did not let them detract me from what was a powerful and epic read.
The Tea Rose had my attention from the start. I loved its gutsy heroine Fiona. She had my attention immediately and I championed her throughout the novel.
A gripping and epic read.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.