Picks and Pans Review: The Tea Rose
By Jennifer Donnelly
If the poor cockney upbringing that first-time novelist Donnelly creates for Fiona Finnegan seems Dickensian—she loses both her parents and the love of her life—her new start in late-19th-century New York City is Horatio Algeresque. With little more than pluck, Fiona builds a tea empire before the age of 30. Despite her success, though, strangers wonder "how any woman with such a beautiful face and nice clothes and so much money to throw around could have such incredibly sad eyes."
The answer is a man, of course. Steeped in melodrama, revenge and a maddeningly star-crossed romance, The Tea Rose is a fine yarn, though Donnelly tries too hard to give the book historical heft by piling on cameos by real-life figures and weighty talk of labor unions. (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, $24.95)
BOTTOM LINE: Guilty pleasure
On Newsstands Now
- The Little Couple: A New Mom's Fight to Live
- Remembering Nelson Mandela
- Princess Kate's Style Secret!
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine