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November 5, 2012

“She was his soulmate, as much a part of him as the very flesh and bone that made him. She was with him, in him, in everything he did. She was everything he wanted from his life, the very measure of his dreams.”

“It is hope, not despair, that undoes us all.”

I am definitely an avid reader, always looking for new books to read, especially trilogies and the like. The Tea Rose trilogy is an absolute gem. Never have I been more excited to go home an snuggle up with a book as I have with this one, and I am pretty sure it has stolen at least one of the top three slots on my favorite books list. This long, LONG, book makes you ache for more after it's finished, a sure sign of a great story. Luckily there are two more to follow!

The first book of three, The Tea Rose, begins in August 1888 in East London, and for the most part follows Fiona Finnegan, a spunky young girl who is almost 18 at the time. Fiona dreams of pulling herself and her family out of poverty and opening a shop with the love of her life, Joe Bristow. They save mere pennies in a jar toward their shared dream, a dream that most people agree is unattainable for two young people, especially poor ones. Whitechapel, where they live, is full of families trying desperately to make ends meet, as well as women of the night, corrupt businessmen, and a murderer who kills by moonlight.

This story is full of heartbreak and let down and I assure you, there will be many tears throughout your reading it. Chances are missed by milliseconds and families and loved ones are put through absolute hell during this hard time for many. But, like all great books, it's the things that happen despite the hardships that really triumph. This book stays with you for a long time even after it is finished, and the characters feel so real and relatable that you feel like calling them up to hang out.

There are only a few problems with this book, but for the most part these things didn't even bother me. The point of view jumps around from person to person even within a chapter. I have no problem with multiple narrators, but this wasn't quite like that. Also, the story is a little bit farfetched at times, but to be honest, it's fiction, and it was still fantastic.

It's hard to say much about this book without giving some of the best parts away, but just in case you're not quite sold yet, I can tell you that this book contains one, if not two of my new favorite characters of all time, and the end will really make you feel like jumping for joy, even if you can't do that many times throughout the novel. This book is about more than what meets the eye, unlike most stories these days. The characters are not all privileged and spoiled, but there is real struggle and real turmoil with every flip of a page, as well as betrayal, revenge and redemption.

I'd say it's a 9.5 outta 10, so you should probably go read it now.

“Funny, 'ow you can 'old a jewel in your 'and, and toss it away, and not even know what you 'ad until it's gone.”

We're not punished for our sins, lad. We're punished by them.

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