Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

A love that transcends both time and place

Carrie McClelland came to Scotland to research her next book. Renting a cottage in the same town where her story takes place, Carrie embarks not only on her novel, but on a romance with her landlord's handsome son, Graham Keith. When the boundary between past and present begins to blur, Carrie finds herself channeling memories not her own. Pulled deeper and deeper into the memories of the past, Carrie realizes these visions are more than the means to another bestselling novel, but also a way to right the wrongs of the past and create a future with the man whose love is her destiny.

After reading so many rave reviews of The Winter Sea I feared my expectations would be too high and I'd be disappointed but I discovered my fears were groundless and from the beginning I was captivated . Susanna Kearsley's writing breathes vivid life into both her characters and the Scottish setting -  past and present . Quite often I find myself drawn more to the historical period in these time-slip novels but this time I enjoyed each of them.

Cruden Bay and Slains Castle
As appealing as the romances are what I enjoyed most was the history. In the spring of 1708 , an invasion fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Steward in Scotland to reclaim his crown. It's an event that has been largely overshadowed by later Jacobite uprisings and one I knew little about. A great deal of research has resulted in a fascinating account of those involved, including the Errolls of Slains Castle, the preparations and the dangers they faced in their determination to bring home their rightful king.

Cruden Bay in winter

  ".......the growing things must die and lie in silence under snow, just as the winter sea must wear its face of storms and death and sunken hopes, the face ye so dislike. 'Tis but the way of things...."

A beautiful and haunting tale that will appeal to both romance and historical fiction readers.
I loved it! I recommend.

Take A Chance Challenge 3
Challenge 7: What Should I Read Next Pick


  1. I read this book last month and also enjoyed it.

    Love the photos, thanks for including them

  2. So glad you enjoyed it -- it was a favorite of mine last year. Have you read Mariana by Kearsley? That's another very good one!

  3. Not heard of this one but sounds like my kinda novel.
    I am off to Scotland for the first time soon and this sounds like the perfect hol read.

    thanks for the review


  4. Just found this one was released as Sophie's Secret in the UK. :)


  5. I loved this one, too! One of my favorite reads last year!

  6. It really was great!!!

    Carol...I hope you will enjoy it too.

    Joanne...I haven't read Mariana - I liked The Shadowy Horses but Season of Storms not so much.

  7. Oh, I am going to try this one. I loved your review...

  8. Yay! I am so glad that you loved this one! I have been one of the people raving about it!

  9. Cat, I started reading this book and I was looking for a picture of this area and the castle online and my favorite picture that I picked out was the one of the castle from your blog! Is that not a coincidence :) I was thinking could this be "Cat"? It is beautiful! AND I'm loving the book. I didn't even know you had reviewed it.