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Monday, January 24, 2011

Books By Jennifer Donnelly

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of 5 YA novels – 2 stand alones and a trilogy (to be completed this year). I have heard so many wonderful things about these books. I have Revolution on my shelf that I have yet to have time to read, but it looks wonderful.

The Tea Rose Trilogy

The Tea Rose Book 1
East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night. Where shining hopes meet the darkest truths.

Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, a bright, defiant young woman dares to dream of a life beyond tumbledown wharves, gaslit alleys, and the grim and crumbling dwellings of the poor.

Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.

But Fiona's plans are shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man force her to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit – and the ghosts of her past – propel her rise from a modest West Side shop front to the top of Manhattan's tea trade.

Fiona's old ghosts do not rest quietly, however, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future.

The Tea Rose is a towering old-fashioned story, imbued with a modern sensibility, of a family's destruction, of murder and revenge, of love lost and won again, and of one determined woman's quest to survive and triumph.

Authentic and moving, The Tea Rose is an unforgettable novel – one certain to take its place beside such enduring epics as A Woman of Substance, The Thornbirds, and The Shell Seekers.”

The Winter Rose Book 2
The Winter Rose, second book in The Tea Rose trilogy, reunites readers with the much-loved Finnegan family. Beginning where The Tea Rose ended, on the river Thames, the novel follows the story of Charlie Finnegan – now Sid Malone – and an intriguing new female character – India Selwyn Jones.

The year is 1900 and the dangerous streets of East London are no place for a wellbred woman. But India Selwyn Jones is headstrong: she has trained as one of a new breed, a woman doctor, and is determined to practice where the need is greatest.
It is on these grim streets where India meets – and saves the life of – London’s most notorious gangster, Sid Malone. Hard, violent, devastatingly attractive, Malone is the opposite of India’s cool, aristocratic fiancĂ©, a rising star in the House of Commons. Though Malone represents all she despises, India finds herself unwillingly drawn ever closer to him – enticed by his charm, intrigued by his hidden, mysterious past.

The Winter Rose brings the beginning of the turbulent twentieth century vividly to life, drawing the reader into its wretched underworld, its privileged society, and the shadowland between the two, where the strict rules of the time blur into secret passions.”

The Wild Rose Book 3 (to be released August 2011)
There is not much that I can find about this book yet – but here is what I could find.

“This third and final part of the Rose saga follows Seamie’s and Willa’s story, introduces a few new characters, and – of course! – brings back a few old ones. It will continue the Finnegan saga, taking the family through World War One and into the 1920s.”

Stand Alone Novels

A Northern Light
“It is 1906 and Mattie Gokey is trying to learn how to stand up like a man -- even though she’s a sixteen-year-old girl. At her summer job at a resort on Big Moose Lake in the Adirondack mountains, she will earn enough money to make something of her life.

That money could be a dowry to wed the handsome but dull Royal Loomis. It could save her father’s brokeback farm. Or it might buy her a train ticket to New York City and college and a life that she can barely allow herself to imagine.

But Mattie’s worries and plans are cast into a cold light when the drowned body of Grace Brown turns up – a young woman who gave Mattie a packet of love letters, letters that convince Mattie that the drowning was no accident.

Inspired by the sensational Chester Gillette murder case of 1906, which was also the basis for Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and the film A Place in the Sun, this story evokes novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, and other classics that hark back to times of lost innocence.”

“As you might expect from the title, the book is about a revolution. On one level, it’s about the French Revolution and one of its smallest victims. On another level, it’s about the revolution inside, about the changes we as human beings go through as we struggle to make sense of our world and its tragedies.

Without giving too much away, the story centers on two girls – one who lives in present day Brooklyn and has suffered the loss of her younger brother. And one who lived in 18th Century Paris and witnessed one of the worst crimes of the French Revolution. Their stories converge when Andi, the Brooklyn girl, travels to Paris and finds a diary hidden inside an old guitar case that belonged to Alex – the French girl.

Here's how we described the story on the book jacket:
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.”

You can read some rave reviews of these books at the following blogs:
Revolution – By Amy at Passages to the Past
The Tea Rose - By Ana at Historical Tapestry
The Winter Rose – By Ana at Historical Tapestry
A Northern Light – By The Book Smugglers

You can visit Jennifer’s website to learn more about these books, some inspiration behind the books, and read excerpts and more.

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I LOVED the Tea Rose and have the Winter Rose in my stash to read,,I plan on reading her other ones also didnt know they were ya novels..

  2. Devonaz - I haven't yet had the oppotunity yet to read her books, but I have Revolution on my shelf. Glad to hear that you Loved The Tea Rose! I think it is a good thing when you can't necessarily draw the line between YA and not - I think it keeps it more realistic!

  3. I knew about A NORTHERN LIGHT, I put it on the shelf of our library. I wasn't aware of the Rose trilogy, but will be looking for it. I have REVOLUTION sitting on my computer desk right now. It will be the next book I read. I'm looking forward to it.

  4. I'm pretty annoyed with myself that I haven't read any of her books yet - I've got both A Northern Light and Revolution and have yet to pick either up. Too many books, never enough time!

  5. Librarypat - I am really looking forward to getting the Rose trilogy. Northern Light sounds really good too.

    Coffee and a book chick - Aww! I hate when it takes forever to get to something you really want to read.

  6. I've read all of these books except The Wild Rose which is my most anticipated release for this year. I have been waiting for that book for nearly 3 years!

    I enjoyed the Tea Rose but it was really The Winter Rose that captured my imagination! And the same with Revolution in a completely different way!

  7. Marg - I have heard so many good things about these books that I really must get the chance to read them!


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