Book Banter: The Wild Rose

The Wild RoseTitle: The Wild Rose
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 640 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From: Oshkosh Public Library
Plot Basics:  Willa Aldean and Seamus Finnegan are born adventurers and find true love with each other.  When a tragic accident steals Willa’s leg, they are torn apart.  Their lives are separated by their own adventures, and neither believes that the other will ever forgive.  However, as England plunges into World War I, their lives start on a path that will bring them together again, perhaps, at the one point in time that they truly can be together.

Banter Points:  Donnelly writes incredibly strong characters and throws them into interesting times, opportunities and people.  Her talent at building compelling characters brought me back to this series.  Each book stands alone, but readers familiar with the first two in the series,  The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose, will be pleased to see the familiar characters that populated those pages as well.

A tricky point about historical is too much of a modern view in a time that didn’t support it.  I think that the placement of this historical in England that the beginning of The Great War (aka, World War I) and the fight of the suffragettes is a great way to balance both the history and the modern thinking that readers are used to.  It also makes me think I should read some of the speeches of the great women of that time in order to have a better sense of the thinking embraced by historical women.

Bummer Points:  I’m torn over this book.  It is set in an amazing time, and has brilliant characters.  Yet, it seemed like too many of the characters from the first two books were part of this story.  I think that this should have been about Willa and Seamus, but a significant portion of the book was about the primary characters from the other book, at times making them more important, and Willa and Seamus less important.  It pains me to say this because I really love series because you get to see beloved characters growing and developing over the course of several books.  Not so much with this one.  Fiona and Joe’s story is done.  Same with India and Sid.  But they take up pages.  I don’t believe that they should have.

Stacie’s Recommendation:  It’s a strong finish, if not a great one.  It’s a series I would recommend to some.


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