Title: The Winter Rose
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Length: ~700 pages
Genre: historical fiction
Plot Basics: India Selwyn Jones seems to be getting everything she wants -- graduating from medical school, getting a posting with a well-known London doctor and marrying an up-and-coming member of Parliament. But as India starts to practice medicine, she discovers that doctors could be doing much more to help the very poor of London's East End. The truth about the East End comes to light particularly when she treats the legendary criminal Sid Malone and sees his concern for the people. As the Labour movement sweeps through London as to cries to end crime, India and Sid are swept up in a series of events that brings them together and tears them apart, spanning years and three continents.
Banter Points: Donnelly again creates a sweeping historical epic with richly devised characters and a good plot. Sid Malone is an interesting character (particularly given his history revealed in "The Tea Rose) and it's nice to see a character struggle to grow as he did.
Bummer Points: In the last third of the book, Donnelly reintroduces the character of Seamie Finnegan and suddenly Seamie's got his own subplot. She puts him there to help Sid later but the whole story line feels a bit deus ex machina so that she can use Seamie later to advance the main plot.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Word Nerd has liked these first two books and will keep her eyes open in the future for more from Donnelly.