The spinoff from The Tea Rose is a lush story of epic proportions. Like all great storytellers, Donnelly peoples her book with larger-than-life characters whose tragedies and triumphs lift your heart and soul. It is the kind of dramatic tearjerker meant to be savored. Long live the saga a la Donnelly!

Twelve years have passed since the murderous crime spree swept Whitechapel, but East London is still home to the poor and a draw for reformers like medical school graduate India Selwyn Jones. With the help of her M.P. fiance, Freddie Lytton, India administers to the sick and strives to close down the opium dens.

East London denizen Sid Malone wants the do-gooder gone -- until she saves his life. Against all odds they fall in love; it is a forbidden and impossible love made all the more poignant by the fact that Sid is the long-lost brother of India's friend, Fiona Finnegan.

When Sid is betrayed, he flees London and is believed dead. Pregnant with his child, India marries Freddie. Years of sacrifice follow as life takes India around the globe searching for the man she knows is alive. (Hyperion, Jan., 708 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin