Title: The Tea Rose
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Genre: historical fiction
Length: 544 pages
Plot Basics: Fiona Finnegan has only ever known a life of working poverty in Whitechapel, London. As a teenager, she packs tea for the Burton Tea Company to add to her family's income, but tries to squirrel away a little money so she and her intended, Joe Bristow, can open a shop of their own one day. But it's a dangerous time in Whitechapel, with a killer on the loose and the dock workers threatening to strike. Fiona and Joe's lives are ripped apart by a series of events that take them both to New York and back and forces them to confront their pasts and never give up on the love they have for each other.
Banter Points: Word Nerd picked this book up after getting to interview Donnelly and getting a review copy of the sequel sent to her. Word Nerd's a bit of a stickler for reading series books in order and she's really glad she did. Historicals aren't usually Word Nerd's cup of tea (sorry, pun intended), but she got really involved with the lives of Fiona and Joe. There was also a pretty good unexpected moment at the end.
Bummer Points: At times, the story moved rather slowly.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Pretty good read; could be a good entrance for others unaccustomed to reading historicals. And Word Nerd's looking forward to the sequel.