THE ROSE OF SEBASTOPOL
Berkeley, A Division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Rating: 4 Cups
Mariella Lingwood is the daughter of a builder. She is quiet, shy, and has a great talent for needlework. She has always been a bit in love with her cousin, Henry, and in awe of her cousin, Rosa.
Rosa Barr is beautiful and vivacious with lovely blonde hair. She is outgoing and intelligent and is determined to become a doctor or a nurse. Her mother is a bit of an invalid.
Rosa is determined to join Florence Nightingale’s nursing corps in the Crimea, despite her age, beauty, and lack of experience. Her stubborn nature eventually prevailed and her adventure begins. Her cousin, Mariella, hears of the war through the letters of her fiancé, Henry, a surgeon. His illness and Rosa’s disappearance bring Mariella to Italy and some disturbing news. Her search for Rosa brings her to the front lines of the war, and she learns a great deal about war, life, and love.
This is an incredibly gripping story, and I could not put it down. Mariella and Rosa are opposites, one quiet and shy, and the other brash and outgoing. I found it hard to like Rosa; she was too extreme in her moods and like her mother, a bit selfish and self centered. I could see the men’s fascination with her, but I imagine she would be pretty wearing after a time. I liked Mariella’s quiet strength. Of the other characters, I found Max and Nora to be the most compelling, and Henry the most disappointing. The author did a great job of describing conditions both on the battlefields and in the hospitals during the Crimean War. It is a fascinating tale of Mariella finding herself while looking for her lost and idealistic cousin, Rosa.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More