The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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January 9, 2013

The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley

The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley

Just about a month or so ago, Brie was kind enough to give me a copy of Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea for my Kindle. It took me a while to get to it, but when I did, I found myself completely pulled into the story and unable to put it down. I liked it well enough that when three of Kearsley’s other books went on sale a few days after I finished it, I bought them, too.

This is a fairly quiet and understated book but one that is still quite powerful nonetheless.

Author Carrie McClelland comes to Scotland for her agent’s son’s christening and finds herself compelled to drive past a moldering old castle on the sea–and when she finds out that it’s the same castle involved in the book she’s been struggling to write, she packs up her things from her rental in France and rents a cottage in the small village near the castle.

And that’s when things start getting weird for Carrie. She finds herself entering almost a fugue state when she’s writing and as she digs into the history of the area and of her family, she finds out that her novel and what actually happened seem to be converging.

Slains Castle was involved in the Jacobite uprising of 1708 and young Sophia Paterson has just arrived at the invitation of the lady of the castle. Once there, Sophia finds herself slowly becoming aware of the conspiracy and sympathetic to it–and she falls in love with one of the soldiers, a Mr Moray.

I don’t want to say too much more because one of the lovely things about this book is the way the relationship between Sophia and Moray parallels that between Carrie and one of her landlord’s sons–the studious Graham with the rambunctious setter Angus.

This is just a beautifully written book and it definitely isn’t something I’d have picked up on my own, so I’m glad that I was given a bit of a shove and I’m really looking forward to reading the three other books in my TBR pile now.

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  1. Victoria Janssen

    It sounds a bit like a Mary Stewart novel!

    • Natalie

      That’s who I see her compared to a LOT. I’ve only read Mary Stewart’s Arthurian books and that was a good 25 years ago at this point…

  2. sienamystic

    I’ve been in a Kearsley phase recently – I just started The Winter Sea. She definitely is very Mary Stewart-esque, which is all to the good. I’ve really enjoyed the books of hers that I’ve read, although Shadowy Horses is still my favorite.

  3. Brie

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The Rose Garden is my favorite, but maybe because it was the first I read and your first is always special 😉


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