Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Fictional author Carolyn McClelland has travelled to Scotland to continue her research for her newest novel.  While there, she feels oddly compelled to  remain in Cruden Bay, the site of the now ruined Slains Castle.  As she continues to research her characters and location, so finds herself being pulled into the real lives of her characters, people that she thought she was making up.  Turns out they are all real.

By the time I was turning the first page of this book, ready to start page two, I was totally drawn into the story.  They wasn't a chance that I would be able to set it aside for long.  The story is set in a rural area of Scotland and the our main character is already admitting that something, or someone is guiding her almost from the moment she arrived.  There was no doubt that I would have to keep reading.

As fictional author Carolyn sat to write, it seemed to her that the story kept telling itself to her.  That it knew what needed to be written and that she had no say.   I had no trouble believing that.  I have sat down to write and my characters have told me what I had to do with them.  Why would it be any different with this author. 

Author Susanna Kearsley made both worlds real to me.  The current day in Scotland and the long ago 1700's were both so vivid that at times I forgot I was reading fiction and I could feel myself living with Carolyn, Jimmy, Grahme, and with the older Sophie, and other visitors to Slains Castle.

Yes, this book has romance, but it has a lot more.  It is full of historical characters who are a lot more than faded images in history books.  Ms. Kearsley has brought them to life once again.  If only I had been lucky enough to have had a history teacher in school who could have brought historical figures to life such as this.

I especially enjoyed the character of modern time Dr. Weir and his research into genetic memories.   I have come across similar discussions previously and found it an excellent rational for what was happening with Carolyn.

The Darien Expedition/Scheme discussed in the book is a real event.  Click here for further information.

I am definitely looking forward to reading further books by author Susanne Kearsley

Susanna Kearsley's website.

Photo Credit aerial view of Slains Castle- Pierre Lesage 

Further information about Slains Castle can be found at Undiscovered Scotland.

Thanks to SourceBooks for my review copy.


Felicity Grace Terry said...

One to be added to my wish list. This reminds me of the novels of Barbara Erskine. Have you read any of her books? If not, I recommend you give her a try.

Anonymous said...

This sounds great, I'm going to add this to my TBR list right away.

The Single Nester said...

Ooh. This sounds like a good one. If a book can capture you on page one, what a gift.

Dorte H said...

This one sounds extremely tempting. Sadly it doesn´t sound as if it is crime.

Heather said...

Sorry on this one Dorte, no crime in it.

Stone Meadow One said...

This sounds great! I'll definately look out for it in libraries.

Melwyk said...

I love Susanna Kearsley's books! I always recommend her when people say they've read all of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels or Erskine.