Skip to main content

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley is part historical novel and part romance with a dash of family history.  I first saw this book in Target and wrote down the title hoping that one of the libraries would get it (because I don't buy my books; I borrow them from the library).  It took a long time but one of the libraries did eventually get a copy and I borrowed it.  I liked this book enough that I looked up Kearsley's other books, but a couple of them seemed like they kind of had similar plots with time travelling historical romances.  They didn't really pique my interest.

Best selling historical fiction novelist Carrie McClelland is struggling with her current novel, set in France amidst the intrigue of the exiled Scottish court of the last Stewart king.  Upon stumbling on the beautiful atmospheric ruins of Slains castle, whose resident noble family is at the heart of an ill fated Jacobite plot to land the Stewart king on Scotland's shores, Carrie knows she must reverse course with her novel and set it instead at Slains.

After relocating to Cruden Bay, home to Slains, Carrie finds that her story and characters flow and take shape as if they have a life of their own.  Channeling a story rife with exquisite historical details that she has never researched and therefore cannot know, Carrie is chilled to discover that perhaps her connection to these past events is rooted in some sort of ancestral memory passed down the generations and that the story she channels is actually that of her ancestor, Sophia Paterson.  Embarking upon a romance that strangely parallels her own ancestor's ill fated romance with a soldier, Carrie continues her all consuming journey into the past as she writes her book.

This novel is rich with the flavor of the Scottish dialect and spirit, heavy with searing betrayals, intrigues and tragedies that make it hard to put down until the stories of both Carrie and Sophia are resolved.  Historical romance lovers will enjoy this book.  I recommend you check it out the next time you visit the library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at does not offer any insi…