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The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
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The Winter Sea (original 2008; edition 2010)

by Susanna Kearsley

Series: Slains (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,103857,516 (4.02)1 / 107
Member:MarysGirl
Title:The Winter Sea
Authors:Susanna Kearsley
Info:Sourcebooks, Inc. (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Books read, Your library, ebook
Rating:***
Tags:None

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The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (2008)

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Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
I struggled for a couple of minutes when I was trying to give a rating for this book. It was something between four or five stars but, regardless of how much I liked the book, I thought that four stars would be an adequate rating. I liked the book, yet something else was missing for me to LOVE it.

First of all, I need to state that I'm not quite familiar with the History of Europe, so having a bit of notion about it in the form of an adorable romance was very refreshing. Kearsley's writing style feels very carefree and pleasant to read, yet descriptive enough so that you don't easily get lost in spite of all the plot things going on. Kudos for her easiness of swapping writing styles, from first to third person, making them seem like they were written by two different people.

The romance itself is just the kind of thing I like to read (although Carrie did annoy me sometimes - and Graham, for his initial apparent lack of attitude): the main character is a strong woman who learned to face adversities, yet pure and innocent, filled with angst. When you think she is about to become the typical annoying defenseless little princess, she actually manages to turn the tides to her favor - either that or she gets extremely lucky and manages to get out of the tough situation. She doesn't simply stand there in her beautiful little castle shedding tears for her beloved one, and this is something I admire greatly, specially because the main story happens in the eighteenth century, when women had yet to earn their respect.

I don't think there is anything I came to dislike in this book. It's not perfect, but it's definitely something I'd be willing to read for a second time. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
It begins with a simple detour on the way to visit her friend and agent, but when Carrie McClelland sees the castle at Slains on the coast of Scotland she knows that this where she needs to be to write her next novel. Her characters become more vivid as she immerses herself in the place and her historical novel about the Jacobite uprising of 1708 gains far more life than she ever dreamed possible. As she writes and explores the history, she discovers that there may be far more truth to the novel she's writing than even she can understand. She also begins to see parallels between her life and the life of her main character, particularly when an attractive man suddenly arrives on the scene.

From the opening pages, this novel enchanted me. With it's dual narratives of Carrie writing in the present and her historical novel, which is also included in the text, you get the magic of getting to have both worlds. Happily, both narratives were equally intriguing and I neveer felt too strongly that I wanted to switch narratives. With fantastic historical detail and a gentle romance subplot in both narratives, I highly recommend this one. I'll definitely be tracking down other Susanna Kearsley books in the future. ( )
  MickyFine | Aug 20, 2014 |
This book was a very enjoyable read. The characters were very well thought out and fun. I especially like the double story and how the time difference was set up and worked out. Going back in time thru memory trances was a unique way to tie the past and present together. I look forward to reading more of this authors books. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes historical romance with a time element linked to the present. ( )
  marysneedle | Jun 19, 2014 |
Wow. This was an amazing book.

I don't think it's a secret that I love the Scottish time period surrounding the Jacobite Uprisings. After all, "Outlander" is my all-time favorite series. So I figured I'd enjoy this book, centered around the doomed '08 Jacobite Uprising.

The book is really two books in one. An author visits the castle Slains in Scotland to begin writing her book about a character involved in the '08. As she writes, she starts to have, for lack of a better work, waking dreams, dreams that allow her to write things that are uncannily real to the history. There's the book that centers around the author, her burgeoning romance with a local historian, and her struggle understanding how she could be having the same memories as her ancestor. Then there's the book about the '08, full on intrigue, betrayals, love, love lost, and all the details in between.

One of the things I loved about this book is it's the first book that succinctly and absolutely explained the '08, the Jacobites, the fight for the crown, and the switching of alliances to me. Anyone who reads historical novels knows how confusing keeping up with who's who can be. There are too many Henry's, Charles's, and Edward's, and the Duke of York is a title, not a person, as the title stays but the name continually changes. "The Winter Sea" did a fabulous job of explaining the '08 and the reasons behind it without bogging things down.

I must admit, I cried at the end, and I truly regretted closing the book when I was done. The hallmark of a 5-Star rating, for me, is missing the characters, and I am already missing them.

Highly recommended.


Lori Anderson

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  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
I came to this book by way of Angie who reviewed it earlier this year. I can see why people compare [a:Susanna Kearsley|486812|Susanna Kearsley|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1245008341p2/486812.jpg] to [a:Diana Gabaldon|3617|Diana Gabaldon|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1213918339p2/3617.jpg], which is great when thinking of [b:Outlander|10964|Outlander (Outlander, #1)|Diana Gabaldon|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1304187141s/10964.jpg|2489796], but this story reminds me more strongly of [b:Possession|41219|Possession|A.S. Byatt|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1311978255s/41219.jpg|2246190] (the movie, not the book--I've never actually read the book). I love that movie, and I immediately started wondering if anyone has snapped up the movie rights to this one. (If not, I'm sure it's just a matter of time.) Meanwhile, I'll be familiarizing myself with more work by Susanna Kearsley in the future. Loved it! ( )
  camibrite | May 25, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susanna Kearsleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Landor, RosalynReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Come home! The year has left you old;
Leave those grey stones; wrap close this shawl
Around you for the night is cold;
Come home! He will not hear you call;

No sign awaits you here but the beat
Of tides upon the strand,
The craig's gaunt shadow with gull's feet
Imprinted on the sand,
And spars and sea-weed strewn
Under a pale moon.

Come home! He will not hear you call;
Only the night winds answer as they fall
Along the shore, 
and evermore
Only the sea-shells 
On the grey stones singing,
And the white foam-bells
On the North Sea ringing.
-E.J. Pratt, "On the Shore"
Dedication
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It wasn't chance.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Carrie settles into the shadow of Slains Castle in Scotland, creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors, and starts to write about the Jacobite invasion of 1708. When she can no longer tell the difference between today and centuries ago, is she dealing with an ancestral memory-- a memory that might destroy her?… (more)

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