The Tea Rose Jennifer Donnelly For Douglas, My own blue- eyed boy. Acknowledgements I am indebted to Martin Fido, au. Editorial Reviews. Review. " enjoy the ride: plus pages of romance, harrowing exploits, The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose Book 3) - site edition by Jennifer Donnelly. Download it once and read it on your site device, PC, phones or. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Donnelly indulges in delightfully straightforward storytelling in this comfortably overstuffed novel. In s London .

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The Wild Rose is part three of the sweeping, multi-generational Tea Rose saga. Many beloved characters from both books continue their adventures in The Wild . Rose: A Novel (1st). Download By Jennifer Donnelly The Tea Rose: A Novel ( 1st) pdf · Read Online By Jennifer Donnelly The Tea Rose: A Novel (1st) pdf. Jennifer Donnelly is the author of a novel for adult readers, The Tea Rose, and a picture book, Humble Pie. For A Northern Light, her first teen novel, she drew.

Return to Book Page. An epic tale of secret love and hidden passions. It is and the dangerous streets of East London are no place for a well-bred woman. But India Selwyn Jones is headstrong: It is in these grim streets where India meets - and saves the life of - London's most notorious gangster, Sid Malone. Hard, violent, devastatingly attractive, Malone is the opposite of India's cool, aristocratic fiance.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. The Tea Rose 2. London, England Africa. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Winter Rose , please sign up. So am I to understand this sequel has nothing to do with Fiona Finnegan Bristow?

Alie It does, she is just more of a minor character than a major. I can't tell you how she's connected without giving a lot a way, but believe me, there …more It does, she is just more of a minor character than a major. I can't tell you how she's connected without giving a lot a way, but believe me, there will be enough Fiona in here to get your fix, and the main heroine of this one, India, is greatly like Fiona. Is there a third book in this series.?

See all 5 questions about The Winter Rose…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order.

Jan 23, Jess rated it really liked it Shelves: Improbable coincidences? Over-the-top drama? Murder, sex, politics, poverty, money, medicine, women's rights, workers' rights, colonialism, revenge, mountain-climbing, Antarctica, Africa, faked deaths yes, plural , amputations, paraplegics, death by wild animal attack, and doomed lovers reunited? Yes, yes, yes. Was I able to put it down? Despite all its faults, I couldn't put the silly thing down.

This feels like a horribly slippery slope, and before yo Cliche-ridden? This feels like a horribly slippery slope, and before you know it I'll have given up on Good Books and I'll just be reading page-turners and eating bonbons.

This is the sequel to The Tea Rose, and there's a horribly dull page or two spent recapping the first book's equally improbable plot points, but this could be read independently. You just wouldn't have the emotional background on a few of the characters. Also, I'm betting that Donnelly's planning a third book, because she left Seamie and Willa's story hanging, emotionally, just like she left Charlie's story hanging in The Tea Rose.

And, God help me, I'll read it. View all 11 comments. Aug 20, Misfit rated it it was amazing Shelves: I think I lost more sleep over this one than The Tea Rose! What an awesome sequel, I think it's better than The Tea Rose. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing more of Joe and Fiona, their children and of course Seamie.

Lots of love, laughter, adventure, heartbreak, tears and more tears. I don't want to say much about the plot, because one of the two main characters in this book is a surprise return at the end of TTR and I don't want to give it away to those who haven't read the first book.

This story will take you from London and Whitechapel to the plains of Africa and the top of Mount Kilamanjaro. Be warned, many chapters in this book contain nail biting cliffhangers, and the author leaves you hanging for several chapters afterwards until you know what happened, and you will be on the edge of your seat waiting for that answer!

All in all a pretty perfect read, finishing with one of the sweetest endings I can recall coming across in a long time. I shed a few tears at that one. Highly highly recommended, I will read this one again and again over the years. View all 3 comments. Jennifer Donnelly does it again! She is definitely at the top of my favorite authors list.

His character was very well portrayed, don't get me wrong--I just didn't have much use for the guy. He did a couple of things in this book that really pissed me off. Then I finally realized Donnelly is just so bloody brilliant with characterization that Joe was just being a man! Stupid, bull-headed and He c Jennifer Donnelly does it again!

He could have been a real person. Once I made that revelation, I liked him better, not his fault after all: He decided to run for Parliament and he didn't even think he had a shot at winning-he just wanted to corner his opposition into making promises to help the poor that Joe was dead set on making sure they followed through with post-election. I thought that was so amazing and selfless.

Here again is Donnelly's talent shining through. Normally, these types of characters have to be taken with a grain of salt. Not Sid. She takes you straight into his head and you see what he is going through. We saw him in the background of Tea Rose, and he comes forward in this and steals the show. He is one of the most truly portrayed characters I have ever read about.

View all 6 comments. View all 14 comments. Aug 12, Vera rated it really liked it. View all 5 comments. Mar 07, Sonja Arlow rated it liked it Shelves: 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. What I really liked is that the majority of the book focused on Dr India Jones, one of the first women of this time period who studied and qualified as a doctor. I am a sucker for any type of medical angle in a story and really enjoyed reading about her struggles practicing under difficult circumstances, the prejudices that surround women in medicine and the almost archaic views of some of the male doctors when it comes to birth control or the causes of childbed fever.

You also get a good feeling of the political climate of London in the late hundreds as some of the main characters were involved in political campaigning. It was a little disappointing in an otherwise really good read. I am still undecided if I will read book 3 as it will focus on Willa and Seamie and although they were good as secondary characters I am not sure I have enough interest in them to read a whole book that focuses on them.

So if you like romance novels then you will probably LOVE this series and if you are going on a holiday where you want to force your brain to shut down, gab the suntan lotion and pack this book. View all 4 comments. The "Winter Rose" is the second part of a successful trilogy of Jennifer Donnelly. In this book, Fiona and Joe were not the main characters. It is a romantic epic that describes both sides of London in the early 20th century. The dust got everywhere. In her hair.

Her ears. Inside her collar. She rubbed at the grime with the hem of her skirt, sighing. This was the first chance she'd had to sit down since six-thirty that morning, when she'd left her mother's lamp lit kitchen for the dark streets of White chapel. She'd arrived at the tea factory at a quarter to seven. Minton had met her at the door and put her to work readying half-pound tins for the rest of the packers due in on the hour. The blenders, who worked on the upper floors of the factory, had mixed two tons of Earl Grey the day before and it had to be packed by noon.

Fifty-five girls had had five hours to pack eight thousand tins. That worked out to an allotment of about two minutes' labor per tin. Only Mr. Minton thought two minutes was too much, so he'd stood behind each girl in turn-timing her, shaming her, bullying her.

The Winter Rose

All to gain a few seconds on the output of a tea tin. Saturdays were only half-days, but they seemed endless. Minton drove her and the other girls terribly hard.

It wasn't his fault, Fiona knew, he was only following orders from Burton himself.

She suspected her employer hated having to give his workers half a day off, so he made them suffer for it. They got no breaks on Saturdays; she had to endure five long hours on her feet. If she was lucky, her legs went numb; if not, they ached with a slow, heavy pain that started in her ankles and climbed to her back.

And worse than the standing was the grindingly dull nature of the work: glue a label on a tin, weigh out the tea, fill the tin, seal the tin, box the tin, then start all over again. The monotony was agony to a mind as bright as hers and there were days, like today, when she thought she'd go mad with it, when she doubted she'd ever escape it, and wondered if all her big plans, her sacrifices, would ever amount to anything.

She pulled the hairpins from the heavy knot at the back of her head and shook her hair free. Then she loosened the laces on her boots, kicked them off, peeled her stockings off, and stretched her long legs out before her. They still ached from standing and the walk to the river hadn't helped any.

In the back of her mind, she heard her mother scolding. Who could resist it? Lively waves slapped impatiently at the bottom of the Old Stairs, spraying her.

She watched them inching toward her and fancied that the river wanted to touch her toes, swirl up over her ankles, draw her into its beckoning waters, and carry her along with it.

Oh, if only she could go. As she gazed out over the water, Fiona felt the weariness in her ebb — a weariness that left dark smudges under her brilliant blue eyes and a painful stiffness in her young body-and a sharp exhilaration take its place.

The river restored her. People said that the City, the center of commerce and government to the west of Wapping, was London's heart. If that was true, then this river was her lifeblood. And Fiona's own heart quickened and leaped at its beauty. Everything exciting in the world was right here before her. Watching ships traverse the river, their holds laden with cargo from all the far-flung reaches of the Empire, filled her with wonder.

This afternoon the Thames was choked with traffic. Punts and lighters-small, quick boats-were plying the waters, ferrying men to and from ships moored midstream. A hulking steamer, intent upon her berth, shouldered smaller craft out of the way. A battered trawler, back from chasing cod in the icy waters of the North Sea, steamed upriver to Billingsgate. Barges jostled for right-of-way, moving upriver and down, discharging cargo-a ton of nutmeg here, sacks of coffee there.

Barrels of treacle. Wool, wine, and whiskey. Sheaves of tobacco. And chest upon chest of tea. They came in carriages, carried walking sticks, and flipped open gold watches with hands so fine and white, Fiona could hardly believe they belonged to men. They wore top hats and frock coats and were attended by clerks who dogged their heels, carried their ledgers, and poked into everything, frowning and scribbling.

They were alchemists, these men. They took raw goods and changed them into gold. And Fiona longed to be one of them. She didn't care that girls weren't supposed to involve themselves in business mattersespecially girls from the docks, as her mother was always reminding her. Dock girls learned to cook, sew, and keep house so they could find husbands who'd look after them at least as well as their fathers had.

But her da didn't think her dreams were foolish. She wasn't aware that the young man standing there smiled as he watched her, not wanting to disturb her, just wanting to gaze at her for a moment before he made his presence known, wanting to savor the image of her-slender and straight-backed against the backdrop of mossy stones and black mud banks.

Fiona turned around. Her face lit up at the sight of him, softening for a few seconds the resoluteness, the determination that was always present in her expression-a determination so apparent that neighbor women remarked upon it, clucking and sighing and gravely saying that a strong face meant a strong will.

And a strong will meant trouble. She'd never get a husband, they said. Lads didn't like that in a lass. But this lad didn't seem to mind it.

No more than he minded the glossy black hair that curled around her face and tumbled down her back. Or the sapphire eyes that seemed to sparkle with blue fire. The veg man's miserable with a cold, so 'e didn't 'aggle.

I've got the next two hours to call me own. It wasn't often he could afford to give her one. She touched the crimson petals to her cheek, then tucked it behind her ear. Not skipping dinners again to save money, are you? It's really going to 'appen, isn't it? At the rate we're going, another year and we'll 'ave our twenty-five quid.

Enough for three months' rent, plus start-up stock. Six months after we open our first shop, we'll 'ave so much money, we'll open another. And then another, until we 'ave a whole chain. Be making money 'and over fist, we will. Joe laughed. But one day we will. A year wasn't so long, not really, she told herself.

Especially when she thought of how long they'd been talking about their shop. For ages, ever since they were children. And two years ago, they'd begun saving, putting money away in an old cocoa tin that Joe kept under his bed.

Everything had gone into that tin-wages, Christmas and birthday coins, errand money, even a few farthings found in the street. Bit by bit, the coins had mounted up, and now they had twelve and two-a fortune. Over the years, she and Joe had painted a picture of their shop in their imaginations, embellishing and refining it until the picture was so real she could close her eyes and smell the tea in its chest. She could feel the smooth oak counter under hand and hear the little brass doorbell tinkle as people came in.

It would be a bright and gleaming place, not some tatty hole — in — the — wall. A real beauty, with the windows done up so nicely that people simply couldn't walk by. As a costermonger's son, Joe knew everything there was to know about selling. He'd grown up on a barrow, spending the first year of his life propped up in a basket between the turnips and the potatoes.

He could bellow "download my fine parsley-o! With his know-how and their combined hard work, they couldn't possibly fail. Our shop, ours alone, Fiona thought, gazing at Joe as he gazed at the river. Her eyes caressed his face, delighting in every detail-the strong line of his jaw, the sandy stubble covering his cheeks, the tiny scar above his eye. She knew its every plane and angle. There wasn't a time when Joe Bristow hadn't been part of her life and there never would be.

She and Joe had grown up on the same shabby street, one house apart. From childhood they'd played together, roamed Whitechapel together, eased each other's hurts and heartaches. They'd shared pennies and treats as children, now they shared their dreams. Soon they would share a life. They would be married, she and Joe. Not right away. She was only seventeen and her father would say that was too young.

But in another year she'd be eighteen, and Joe twenty, and they would have money saved and excellent prospects. Fiona stood up and jumped from the steps onto the stony flat below. Her body was humming with excitement. She trotted to the river's edge, scooped up a handful of stones, and skipped them across the water as hard and fast as she could. When she'd skipped them all, she turned to Joe, who was still sitting on the steps, watching her. Bigger than 'arrods, too. At a glance, she seemed so slight and fragile,.

But eyes that lingered upon her as Joe's did could see the force of her ambition in her every expression, her every gesture, from the thrust of her chin to her rough worker's hands, now clenched into fists as if someone had challenged her. We'll' ave ten shops in London In Leeds and Liverpool.

In Brighton and Bristol and Birmingham and You're the fiercest little lass I've ever seen. You've more bottle than most lads. Maybe you better come down 'ere and find out.

A gravelly crunch behind her told her he'd jumped down and was pursuing her. She squealed with laughter as he grabbed her arm. I'd better make sure Ever so gently, he tilted her chin up and kissed her lips, parting them with his tongue. She closed her eyes and gave herself over to the pleasure of his kiss. She knew she shouldn't be doing this, not until they were married. Father Deegan would give her a string of Hail Marys to say at confession, and if her da found out he'd skin her alive.

But oh, how lovely his lips felt, and his tongue was like velvet, and how sweet his skin smelled, warm from the afternoon sun. Before she knew what she was doing, she was up on her tiptoes, arms around his neck, kissing him back. Nothing felt as good as this, her body pressed against his, his strong arms around her. Hoots and catcalls interrupted their embrace. A barge had come out of Wapping Entrance, gateway to the nearby London docks, and was sailing past.

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Its crew had caught an eyeful. Beet-faced, Fiona pulled Joe into a maze of pilings, where they stayed until the barge was past. A church bell sounded the hour. It was growing late; she knew she should be home helping her mother get the dinner. And Joe had to get to the market. After one last kiss, they walked back to the Old Stairs.

She scrambled up the steps to put her stockings and boots back on, tripping over her skirts as she did. As she stood to go, she stole one final glimpse of the river. It would be a week before she could return — a week of rising in the darkness, trudging to Burton's and trudging back home, where chores of every description were always waiting.

But it didn't matter, none of it mattered; one day she would leave it all behind. Out from the shore, white froths rose and curled on the water's surface. Waves danced. Was it her imagination, or did the river seem to leap with excitement for her, for them? And why wouldn't it? She and Joe had each other. They had twelve pounds, two shillings, and a dream. Never mind Burton's or the dreary streets of Whitechapel. In a year, the world would be theirs. Anything was possible. Paddy, what time 'ave you got?

He pulled out a dented silver watch. She picked up a fork and poked it into one of the three mutton chops sizzling on top of the stove. A rivulet of juice ran down the side of the chop, sputtering into steam as it hit the hot metal of the frying pan.

She speared the chops, dropped them onto a plate, and put them into a warming hatch next to the oven, alongside a jug of onion gravy.

Next she picked up a rope of sausages and cut the links into the pan. As they began to fry, she sat down at the table across from her husband. What, Kate? They can't just trundle in when they please, keeping you waiting for your dinner.

And me standing 'ere, not knowing when to start the toad. Start the dinner. If it's cold when they get here, they've only themselves to blame. And stalking a tough little bugger like Charlie? God help him if he is, it'll be the murderer screaming murder after two minutes with that lad. To say not'ing of Fiona. Remember what happened to that bully Sid Malone when he tried to take her into an alley?

Busted him in the nose, she did. Broke it. And him twice the size of her. Listen to this She could've told him the roof was on fire and received the same response.

Whatever the paper said, she didn't want to hear it. Talk of unions worried her; talk of strikes terrified her. With a husband, four children, and a lodger to feed, she barely made it through the week as it was. If a strike was called, they'd starve. And if that wasn't enough to worry about, there was a murderer on the loose. Whitechapel had always been a tough neighborhood, a two-fisted mixture of Cockneys, Irish, Polish, Russians, Chinese, and a smattering of others.

No one was rich, most were hardworking. Many were hard-drinking, too. There was plenty of crime, but it was mainly thieving. Thugs sometimes killed each other or a man died in a brawl, but nobody did this sort of thing, cutting up women. With Paddy still reading, she stood up, moved to the stove, and prodded the sausages, grizzling in a slick layer of juices and fat.

She picked up the mixing bowl and poured the batter into the frying pan, blanketing them. The batter hissed as it hit the hot drippings, then spread to the edges of the pan, where it bubbled and puffed. She smiled. The batter was airy and would brown nicely.

A cup of ale always did the trick.

She shoved the skillet into the oven, then turned her attention to a pot of potatoes. As she mashed them, she heard the front door bang open and her daughter's steps, light and quick, in the hallway. Paddy grunted a greeting from behind his paper. Fiona grabbed a pinafore from a hook near the back door. As she tied the strings behind her, she checked on her baby sister Eileen, asleep in a basket by the hearth, then bent down next to her four-year-old brother Seamus, who was sitting on a rug playing soldiers with some clothes-pegs, and gave him a kiss.

Who taught you that? What needs doing, Mam? Then set the table, start the tea, and get your da 'is porter. Numbers are growing every day. Won't be long before the Wapping lads are in. Mark my words, we'll see a strike before the year's out.

The unions will save the working class. By giving us an extra penny an hour so we can starve slowly instead of getting it over with all at once? It's that Joe Bristow puts them anti-union ideas in your head. Costers, they're all the same.

Too independent. Don't care about the rest of their class. And I'm not antiunion. It's just that I prefer to make me own way. Whoever waits for dock owners and factory owners to answer to a bunch of ragtag unionists is going to wait a good long time. Otherwise, you're behaving just like one of them.

I believe working people should 'ave better lives. Of course I do. I'm just not prepared to sit on my arse and wait for Ben Tillet to bring it all about.

Tighter than bark to a tree. You have to make the small gains before you make the big ones. Like the match girls at Bryant and May's.

Protesting against the terrible conditions and the fines for talking or going to the loo. They won after only a t'ree week stoppage. A bunch of wee lasses! There's power in numbers, Fiona, mark my words. Unions will save the dockers, the whole working class. Fiona was steaming, but knew better than to open her mouth.

She shrugged as if none of it mattered and started to lay the knives and forks, but Kate wasn't fooled. Fiona was angry, but she ought to know by now to keep her opinions to herself. Paddy always said he encouraged his children to think for themselves, but like all fathers, he actually preferred they think like him. Kate glanced between her husband and daughter. Lord God, are they alike, she thought. Same jet-black hair, same blue eyes, same stubborn chin.

Both of them with their big ideas -that's the Irish in them.

Dreamers, they are. Himself always dreaming after tomorrow, when the capitalists repent their evil ways and pigs fly. And that lass, scheming for that shop of hers. She has no idea how hard it will be to make a go of it. You can't tell her anything. But it's always been that way with her. Too big for her britches. Her eldest daughter worried Kate greatly.

Fiona's single-mindedness, her sense of purpose, was so strong, so directed, it was frightening. A sudden stab of emotion, fierce and protective, pierced her heart. How many dock girls make a go of a shop? What if she gets as far as opening it only to see it fail? It'll break her heart. And then she'll spend the rest of her life bitter over something she never should have wished for in the first place.

Kate confided these worries to her husband on many occasions, but Paddy, proud of the fire in his eldest girl, always argued that spirit was a fine thing in a lass. Spirit a fine thing?

She knew better. Spirit was what got lasses sacked from their jobs or got them black eyes from their husbands. What good was spirit when the whole world was just ready and waiting to knock it out of you? She sighed deeply-a long, noisy mother's sigh. The answer to those questions would have to wait. Dinner was ready. Said 'e was going to sell them to Mrs. MacCallum for 'er fire. She won't pay for coal.

This is my kitchen, not a gutter! The door opened and the trundling came inside. Charlie was home, with his wooden cart in tow. Little Seamie's head snapped up.

Kate frowned. She did not approve of this, her sons' ghoulish new game. She sat down and spread her skirts out. Seamie crawled under, but forgot to pull in his feet.

The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose #3) by Jennifer Donnelly

Charlie tramped into the kitchen, still cackling like a fiend. When he saw the little boots sticking out from under his sister's skirts, it was all he could do to keep from laughing and wreck the game. Are these your feet sticking out' ere, then?

Seems like awfully small feet for a big fat cow of a lass like yourself. Let me 'ave a closer look Seamie screeched and Charlie commenced tickling him to within an inch of his life. When he was truly breathless, Charlie stopped, giving him a fond pat on the head. Seamie, sprawled out on the floor panting, regarded his brother with utter adoration. Charlie was the center of his universe, his hero. He worshiped him, followed him around, even insisted on dressing like him, right down to the bit of fabric he made his mother tie around his neck in imitation of Charlie's kings man -a bright red neckerchief that all the flash lads wore.

The two boys were almost identical, both taking after their mother with their red hair, green eyes, and freckles. Charlie hung up his jacket, then took a handful of coins from his pocket and dropped them into the tea tin.

Got a few extra hours this week. I've been trying to put something aside for a jacket for your da. Malphlin's 'ave got some nice second'and ones. I've mended 'is old one so many times it's nothing but thread and patches. Paddy looked over his paper, saw him eating, and cuffed the top of his head. And take off your hat when you eat. Still asleep? Usually the smell of dinner gets 'im moving. Charlie, go shout 'im down. Dinner's ready! He tramped upstairs. Fiona washed Seamie's hands and sat him at the table.

She tied a napkin around his neck and gave him a piece of bread to keep him quiet.

Jennifer Donnelly

Then she went to the cupboard, took down six plates and carried them to the stove. Three plates got a chop each, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Kate pulled the skillet from the oven and divided its contents and the rest of the potatoes and gravy between the remaining three. Neither Kate nor Fiona ever thought to question the chops on the men's plates and the batter on their own.

Men were the breadwinners and needed meat to keep up their strength. Women and children got a taste of bacon or sausage on the weekends if the week's wages stretched that far.

The fact that Kate worked over a copper and mangle hefting and wringing loads of wet laundry all day long or that Fiona stood on her feet packing tea for hours at a stretch was not considered and would have made no difference if it had been. Paddy's and Charlie's wages made up the lion's share of the household income; they paid the rent, bought clothes, and provided most of the food.

Kate's and Fiona's earnings went for coal and household necessities like boot, black, kerosene, and matches. If Paddy or Charlie took ill and missed work, everyone would suffer. It was the same in every home on every street in East London-men got the meat and women got what they could.

Kate heard Charlie's heavy steps on the stairs again. Where is 'e? Wasn't 'e 'ere this morning, Paddy? You know Roddy, he'll turn up. He'd grown up with Paddy and Paddy's younger brother, Michael, in Dublin, and had emigrated first to Liverpool and then to London with them, staying in Whitechapel with Paddy while Michael continued on to New York. He had known the Finnegan children all their lives-had dandled each one on his knee, rescued them from bullies and mean dogs, and told them ghost stories by the fire at night.

He was more of an uncle to them than their real uncle, whom they'd never seen, and they adored him. Kate mashed the tea and sat down. Paddy said the blessing and the family began to eat.

She regarded her brood and smiled. When they were eating, they were quiet. There might actually be two minutes of peace now, Charlie was tearing through his dinner. There was no filling him up. He wasn't a tall lad, but he was big for his sixteen years.

Broad-shouldered and just as tough and scrappy as the bull terriers some of the neighborhood men kept. Just then the front door opened. Fiona, Paddy, even Seamie stopped eating and looked at him. His face was ashen. He held his policeman's helmet in one hand.

His jacket hung open and there was a crimson smear across the front of it. A woman named Polly Nichols. Kate gasped. Fiona and Charlie were wide-eyed. You can't imagine what he'd done. The blood-it was everywhere. A man found the body on his way to work just before dawn. I spotted him running down the street, yelling.

Woke the whole place up.

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I went back with him and there she was. T'roat cut. Rest of her opened up like somet'ing in a slaughterhouse. Lost me dinner right there. Meantime, it's getting lighter and people are gathering. I sent the man down the station to get more help and by the time it arrived, I nearly had a riot on me hands. And the coroner. By the time they were done, we had a whole squad out front just to keep the people back.

Furious, they were. Another woman dead. This boyo's dancing circles round us.

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Going on about the squalor and depravity of the poor giving rise to a fiend. Them damn rags never paid any attention to East London before. I thought it was historical fiction, but there's too much crazy melodrama for it to be that.

Then I thought it was a historical romance, but it's far too detailed and well done for that, too. So the book is either extremely campy historical fiction or really, really excellent historical romance.

But either way, it's loads and loads of fun. I have a lot of tea accessories and I love the ritual of going to tea and eating elegant little sandwiches. I read lots of catalogues and fashion magazines.

I dart around flea markets looking for pretty brooches. I get Victorian Papers catalogue. I read food blogs and tweets and magazines and cookbooks.Farting through silk dresses.

Normally, these types of characters have to be taken with a grain of salt. A tragic incident has horrible consequences for the McGowan family, especially Fiona. In her place was a sober young woman, hardened by grief and disillusionment. They're not quite poor. Here are some random thoughts and comments: