Review: The Winter Sea
In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her…”
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley is a book that I really enjoyed…..after a while. I downloaded this book onto my kindle for my flight overseas and I must say it started pleasant enough but I was not overly sucked in. If I had not been traveling with nothing else to do for 7 hours I may have sat the book down and never finished. I’m glad that I continued because almost half way into the book, I couldn’t put it down. Susanna Kearsley has written quite a few novels but this is my first time reading any of her work.
Winter Sea is two romance stories intertwined that unfold as Carrie McClelland , a historical romance writer researches and begins writing her latest historical romance novel. Carrie is struggling for motivation for her latest book when she discovers a castle called Slains in Scotland that has also inspired the writer of Dracula. The current day events are told as she completes her research for her newest novel. Carrie’s character is likeable and I enjoyed following along on her research adventures and learning of her love of history that comes from her father. I also love the history tied into the story and once the book has laid the groundwork for the characters and begins to pick up I found both the modern day story as well as the one from the past very real and captivating.
The historical part of this tale focuses on James Stuart who was smuggled out of Britain to France when a feud over religion forced them into exile. The flashbacks in the story take place leading up to the Jacobite invasion of the area as they were trying to get Stuart’s throne back because they still saw him as the rightful king. The historical story is told from Sophia’s perspective showing what part she knows that involve the story as well as her own personal romance story. What makes this book unique is the way in which the historical perspective is discovered through memories Carrie begins to develop of one of her ancestors who unknown to her lived a brief time at Slains.
Some may find the idea of ancestral memory too much to believe; however, I feel Kearsley managed to write this caveat in a believable manner. Overall I would recommend this book especially to those who love historical romance novels. I would just remind you to keep in mind that the book begins slowly but it does become quite engaging filled with historical background and vibrant characters.