The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The melodrama of the Finnegan siblings comes to a close in this third installment of the trilogy. I have to admit that while I'm satisfied with the ending, this did not rank as highly for me as the first book. Like the others, this one is well written & filled with lush detail. I liked Willa very much initially but there was so much back & forth with she & Seamie that I honestly began not to care (especially because I figured the formula for the prior two books would prevail & starcrossed lovers would get their happy ending). The happy ending is a bit more bittersweet for Seamie & Willa but it exists nonetheless. I had true care for Jennie but she lost me when she & Josie embarked on their scheme. I lost a lot of respect for Jennie & knew (per the prior two books) that the trope would play out in such a way that she would lose everything. So that, much like a lot of the story, was just waiting for the inevitable. There were also what have now in the series become, reliable conveniences to make things work out or not. This being the third installment & the mains being less endearing, it plays out as more unforgivable contrivance than the same did in "The Tea Rose". Also, there's enough reference to the happenings in the second book (& some of the first) that one really can skip the middle book & not miss much.
All that said, I did find this one more enjoyable than the second in the series. In the end, the "Rose" that could never be compared or magic recaptured was Fiona. Ingrid nor Willa ever matched my interest in her & Joe's story. I did like that Fiona & Joe were carried through in all the books, I think they provided a much needed anchor.
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