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Download The Rose of Sebastopol Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Rose of Sebastopol, by Katharine McMahon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,433 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Katharine McMahon Narrator: Josephine Baile Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1854, beautiful, adventurous Rosa Barr travels to the Crimean battlefield with Florence Nightingale’s nursing corps. A headstrong idealist, longing to break out of the rigid confines of life as a young lady, Rosa is determined to make a difference in the world.

For Mariella Lingwood, Rosa’s cousin, the war is contained within the pages of her scrapbook, in her London sewing circle, and in the letters she receives from her fiancé, Henry—a celebrated surgeon who has also volunteered to work within the shadow of the guns. When Henry falls ill and is sent to recuperate in Italy, Mariella impulsively decides she must go to him. But upon her arrival at his lodgings, she makes a heartbreaking discovery: Rosa has disappeared without a trace.

Following the trail of her elusive cousin, Mariella’s epic journey takes her from the domestic restraint of Victorian London to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea and the tragic city of Sebastopol, where she encounters Rosa’s dashing stepbrother, a reckless cavalry officer whose complex past—and future—is inextricably bound up with her own. As Mariella’s quest leads her deeper into the dark heart of the conflict, her ordered world begins to crumble, and she finds she has much to learn about secrecy, faithfulness, and love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This excellent historical novel is linked to real events in nineteenth-century England, across Europe and the Crimea…London society is beautifully drawn in the early part of the novel, as Mariella goes to church, works on her sewing, obeys her parents, and melts with love for her promising young man…Developments in medicine and surgery are part of the backdrop to Mariella’s fiance, and McMahon handles this historical detail with easy confidence, too.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Josephine Bailey is the consummate narrator, with her lovely British accent, talent for diverse accents, and seemingly effortless ability to segue between male and female voices. She’s as adept at giving Mariella the innocent voice of a naïve child as she is at making a soldier sound like a battle-weary old soul. Bailey’s remarkable ability to lift characters off the pages and deliver flawless narrative makes her performance a sheer joy. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “This novel works so well on so many levels that it’s certain to appeal to a broad audience. With a practiced hand, McMahon, author of the bestselling The Alchemist’s Daughter, physically and psychologically entrenches her characters in the mid-nineteenth century, providing readers with a fascinating window to Victorian lifestyles, mores, and mind-sets…Expect high demand for this superbly rendered mix of historical fiction and mystery.”


  • “In the midst of war, [Marielle] finds chaos, which rattles the foundations of her existence, and Mariella must discover her strength and fight for what is truly important. McMahon’s complex plot makes for an atypical but satisfying read, even if the ending feels a tad abrupt. Recommended for all fiction collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “An unusual and vivid historical novel tracks a feverish love triangle/mystery across the battlefields of the Crimean War. Freshness and energy drive McMahon’s latest, which offers a socially alert tableau of mid-nineteenth-century England as the background to an emotional drama…Over time Mariella, an unheroic heroine, learns to be of service…while in the process awakening to a different sense of self. Marked by its passion and social commentary, this is a pleasingly unformulaic read.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kajsa Askerup | 2/19/2014

    " A good story, I think that the time period was well described and how the nurse profession started out. The story had some twists and turns and they way you feel about the characters change when you read the book because there's more layers added to them as the story progresses. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Genie | 2/6/2014

    " Bit of a downer, although the history was fascinating "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lois | 2/2/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book - even the ending. This book has inspired me to learn more about Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War. Enjoyable, quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jennifer Grosser | 1/20/2014

    " It took me forever to get into this one, and then even after I did, I wasn't sure I liked the characters very much, but I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next. The ending sort of surprised me, which was good, but it also disappointed me. Still, even after all that, I felt it was a "good read." "

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About the Author
Author Katharine McMahon

Katharine Mcmahon is the author of several novels of historical fiction. She is a former English teacher, writing instructor, and actress.