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Review: The Winter Sea

Submitted by on October 10, 2011 – 9:42 amOne Comment

Book: The Winter Sea
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Release: March 24th 2008
Reviewer: Steph (Eowyn)
Source: Personal Library
Purchase: AmazonBarnes and Noble

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.

Also Reviewed by: Dear Author, Luxury Reading, The Librarian Reads

Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
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One Comment »

  • [...] Monday, Steph (Eowyn) shared a review of THE WINTER SEA by Susanna Kearsley… It is 2008 and Carrie McClelland can’t hit the right note for her next novel, but an unplanned detour in Scotland, and a stop at the castle that inspired Count Dracula, sets her on a different path; a path that took her back in time exactly 300 years, to that same castle, and to a rebellion doomed to failure. Alternating between the contemporary setting and the past, The Winter Sea takes us at every turn into little known worlds; historical footnotes writ large, a history of Scotland and the Jacobite rebellion of 1708 and the possibility of genetic memory. Historical fiction at its best and Susanna Kearsley at hers, The Winter Sea evokes the writing of Thomas Raddall, Daphne Du Maurier, and Mary Stewart. Read her review Here [...]

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