The Tea Rose - Jennifer Donnelly The Tea Rose was wildly melodramatic, far too reliant on Deus Ex Machina, and overstuffed with too many points of view; it was also a terrific ride, full of incredibly vivid places, and an absorbing read. I would have loved to give this book five stars for the time and places Donnelly evoked. East London has never seemed so alive, so real as when Donnelly's prose is describing it. New York is bustling, fresh with promise, and the late Victorian setting burst to life. Most of the characters are endearing in some way or another, however, some seem entirely superfluous to the story and plot and the constant POV change sometimes dragged me out of the story I wanted to be reading.

Fiona does come across a bit Mary Sue-ish, and there are too many turns of chance - for good or ill - that move the plot along rather than any organic feel to it. Still, I found myself drawn to the book and for all the dramatics, the story is so brimming with passion and exuberance that I couldn't help but to be dragged along with it. For everything else, The Tea Rose is not a boring story. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, flaws and all, but I can't help but wish that it could have been a little bit more. A little more thoughtfully plotted, a little more tightly edited, and a little bit more within the realms of credibility. I read to be swept away, though, which this book certainly did, and if you enjoy a sweeping, epic novel that succeeds despite it's weaker moments you will most likely enjoy this book as much as I did.