Shelves: read I just started a new job and so have been quite preoccupied leaving little room to immerse myself in a difficult read so this was the perfect choice. I took my time and overall I really enjoyed it. I read Tea Rose about 12 years ago and was worried that I would not remember enough of the first book to understand the dynamics at play between Joe, Fiona and Sid but there were enough background references that this was not a problem at all. This review comes with a huge caveat, this is a historical I just started a new job and so have been quite preoccupied leaving little room to immerse myself in a difficult read so this was the perfect choice. However, this is well written fluff.
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The year is and the dangerous streets of East London are no place for a well bred 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 truly seductive, hard to put down, filled with mystery, secret passions, unique locations, and a most engaging heroine.
India Selwyn Jones is a new breed of woman in London in , a doctor practicing in the grim East End, and she captivates from the first page to the last. I became so consumed with finding out how it would end that I read the last third at near-choking speed.
I just had to know: happy or not happy? I imagine you will, too. 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. After all, it had taken over ten years of my life to write that book and I needed a break. At the same time, out of nowhere, this new character materialized in my head — a young, idealistic woman doctor. A counterpoint to Malone. God only knows. I knew she was a dedicated physician, a social reformer, and as committed to the public good as Sid Malone was to his own dark pursuits.
I also knew she was a wounded soul. Like Sid. And I knew that they would meet in the only place in London where two such characters could meet in — Whitechapel. And after that, I was off. The game was afoot.
I knew where the story was going and how it was going to get there — but of course, as in any page novel set a hundred years in the past, a little bit of research had to get done. Research — as much as the characters and their story and its setting — is a huge part of what inspires me as a writer. I use many sources. General histories. The list is endless. It was a man. His name was Fred Sage and he was a Londoner through and through.
He had retired from the docks and was working as a historian of East and Southeast London. I told him I was working on a novel set in Wapping and Whitechapel and wanted to learn as much about river work as I could. Fred Sage, Fred took me around Wapping and Rotherhithe. He told me of London. He told me of backbreaking work. Of hard living.
Of strikes and fights and Saturday nights. Of times and places and women and men the like of whom this world will never see again. Fred had a few years on me, but he could walk the legs off a mountain goat. And of his love for it.
Goodbye, Fred. And thank you. Fred Sage of the Docklands. He passed away while I wrote the Winter Rose, and I dedicated the book to him. East End homes, much as the one the Finnegans rented for 18 shillings a week. Lose the cars, and Wilkes St. The view across the Thames from the Old Stairs.
Manuscript edits to The Tea Rose.
The Winter Rose
The Winter Rose (Tea Rose Series #2)