Monday, May 14, 2012

The Winter Sea - Susanna Kearsley

Title: The Winter Sea
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Ebook: 544 pages (I think)
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Published date: 2008/2010
FTC: Checked out ebook from library

Sometimes I read ebooks on my iPhone at night if I can't go to sleep.  I read on my iPhone because 1) an eReader is just out of my budget right now and 2) I can't find a book light I love so an ebook is just working for me at the moment.

When I read the synopsis for The Winter Sea I thought A) why not, I love a good historical fiction and semi-romance and B) hopefully it's not too similar to The Outlander series.  While Susanna Kearsley is not going to make my top five favorite historical fiction writers, I definitely had fun reading this book and will check her out more.

The synopsis:

History has all but forgotten the spring of 1708, when an invasion 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 can know the truth of what did happen all those years ago -- a tale of love and loyalty...and ultimate betrayal.

My thoughts:

This was the perfect late night immerse yourself into the story type of book.  Sometimes when a novel has a flip between the present and the past, I tend to enjoy one of the stories over the other.  In this case, I had fun with both Carrie's story in the present day and Sophia's story set in past.

This isn't a time travel novel like The Outlander series but a "genetic memory" in that as Carrie gets inspired to write, her story just takes over.  As she's fact checking she comes to find out everything she's written is eerily real -- how would she know ship names and dates when people came to the castle?  She comes to find that she's probably getting the memories somehow of her distant ancestor Sophia.  While some reviewers didn't think that the genetic memory thing was necessary for the story, I didn't mind it at all.  It was a fun way to connect Carrie and Sophia.

What I liked most about both stories wasn't the love stories but the setting.  Did you know Slains Castle inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula?  If you head over to Susanna Kearsley's website, there's some awesome photos of the Castle and other locations mentioned in the book.  I just loved Susanna Kearsley's descriptions of the castle, the ocean, everything.  I feel like if I traveled there I would find the area familiar.

I also enjoyed the historical setting of the book.  I love this story because to be honest, if I lived in that day and age and in that area, I may have been a Jacobite. I always wonder how things would have turned out if the Jacobites had succeeded.  Interesting....

UK Version:

In the UK, The Winter Sea is published with the title Sophia's Secret.  What title/cover do you prefer?  I like my version above.  Sophia looks more terrified on this cover than hiding a romance.

Also Reviewed by:

The Book Nest
Library Queue
Madame Guillotine
The Book Worm's Library
Diary of a Bibliophile
Historical Novel Society
The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
The Royal Reviews (Interview)

No comments:

Post a Comment