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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
2,3291506,800 (4.02)1 / 172
Fantasy. Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller!

"I've loved every one of Susanna's books! She has bedrock research and a butterfly's delicate touch with characters—sure recipe for historical fiction that sucks you in and won't let go!"— DIANA GABALDON, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Outlander

A hauntingly beautiful tale of love that transcends time. A modern American woman travels to Scotland to write a novel about the Jacobite Rebellion— only to discover that the vivid scenes and the romantic hero she's imagining actually exist...

In the spring of 1708, invading Jacobites plot to land the exiled James Stewart on the Scottish coast to reclaim his crown. When young Sophia Paterson travels to Slains Castle by the sea, she finds herself in the midst of the dangerous intrigue.

Now, American writer Carrie McClelland hopes to base her next bestselling novel on that story of her ancestors in the dim, dark past . Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she starts to write.
But as Carrie's mind slips back in time, she learns of the ultimate betrayal that happened all those years ago, making her the only living person who knows the truthand that knowledge comes very close to destroying her.

Other bestselling books by Susanna Kearsley:
The Rose Garden
A Desperate Fortune
The Firebird

Praise for RITA Nominee, The Winter Sea:
"Lifts readers straight into another time and place to smell the sea, feel the castle walls, see history and sense every emotion. These are marks of a fantastic storyteller." —RT Book Reviews

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… (more)
Member:josie2479
Title:The winter sea
Authors:Susanna Kearsley
Info:Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks Landmark, 2010.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (2008)

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 World Reading Circle: Winter Sea, Mir's third book.8 unread / 8cedargrove, November 2011

» See also 172 mentions

English (147)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  German (1)  All languages (150)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
2.5 stars. Romance. Slow going through the middle. ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
Carrie McClelland is a writer of historical fiction. While visiting her agent in Scotland, she finds herself drawn to Slains Castle at Cruden Bay near Aberdeen. The book she's trying to write revolves around the failed attempt in 1708 to bring young King James back to Scotland and overturn the hated Union. Much of the plotting happened at Slains, on the north-east coast. Its Earl was the Lord High Constable of Scotland and with his mother, the widowed Countess, they rallied the Jacobites to their cause.

But Carrie's book needs a character who can observe and describe these events through her own personal experience. Thanks to her father's obsession with family history, she finds the perfect narrator: young Sophia Paterson. Sophia is an orphan and a distant relation to the Errolls of Slains. She's endured much in her young life, especially at the hands of her recently deceased uncle and guardian. She comes to Slains hoping for kindness and finds much more.

Meanwhile, Carrie starts experiencing strange coincidences as her novel takes shape. Life and history imitate art as her book almost writes itself. And in the small town of Cruden Bay she finds herself the object of one man's attention while another's face becomes that of her novel's hero... ( )
  punkinmuffin | Apr 30, 2024 |
“My father always told me that the sea was in my blood” (2).

Emotionally draining at times (the longing and waiting of the characters), intellectually demanding at others (so many dates and events and historical figures to know and connect), but poetically stimulating throughout, even if much of the swirling, gray sea descriptions were a bit somber and melancholic. In the end of this maudlin Scottish seaside story, there is a beacon of light—the promise of the winter sea: the hope of what lies beneath.

While the atmospheric Slains Castle off the coast of Scotland sets the stage for this gothic story, it’s the characters and the rich historical plot—full of espionage and clandestine lovers and secret plotting—that kept me waiting and hoping and longing right along with the characters. I really loved these characters, especially Countess of Errol who seemed ahead of her time, not content to be a female bystander in this male-made war but leading like a General with intelligence and grace and shrewd confidence. I also loved professor Graham—his quiet confidence—and John Morray—his contrast of pirate persona and devoted lover—and Colonel Graeme—the perfect mix of a roguish yet reliable uncle.

Beyond the history and plot and characters and setting—all of which I loved—I also loved the bigger ideas in this book: genetic memory and blurred lines. Anything that explores the connection we have to our ancestors and the land of our roots is something that inspires me. The way Kearsley tells this dual-plotted story is original in blurring the lines between fact and fiction, imagination and memory—never knowing where one ends and the other begins. Intriguing, imaginative, and inspiring: a story that makes me want to know more about these determined Jacobites. For a reader who rarely reads series, I’m eager to explore the other Slains stories.
( )
  lizallenknapp | Apr 20, 2024 |
Surprisingly good. Kept my interest all through. Two parallel stories: an author comes to the Aberdeen area and writes a novel about the 18th century and a Jacobite rebellion, which more or less "writes itself." She is told this is "genetic memory." The characters in her novel are from her own family's past but with her writing in her current love interest as her heroine's--a family ancestor.
Fact and fiction blur with amazing coincidences in plots. ( )
  janerawoof | Feb 4, 2024 |
A writer finds herself drawn to a particular section of Scottish coastline while she's plotting her next book--but the book virtually starts to write itself as ideas flood her brain. Or are they memories? "Genetic memories"? Interesting premise, although not for the skeptic at heart. I viewed it as a more creative, intense way to tell a story that would have otherwise been a straight researching-family-history premise. Or that could have gone to the other end of the spectrum and been a time-slip novel.

It got bogged down (for me) in some of the political history of the Jacobites, which, no matter how hard I try to follow, makes my eyes glaze over. It was also a bit long for holding my interest steadily.
But the writing was quite literary in places. ( )
  Alishadt | Feb 25, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susanna Kearsleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Landor, RosalynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Slains (1)
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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
First words
It wasn't chance.
Quotations
A grieving person’s like a person treading in deep water—if they’ve nothing to hold on to, they lose hope. They slide right under.’
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Fantasy. Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller!

"I've loved every one of Susanna's books! She has bedrock research and a butterfly's delicate touch with characters—sure recipe for historical fiction that sucks you in and won't let go!"— DIANA GABALDON, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Outlander

A hauntingly beautiful tale of love that transcends time. A modern American woman travels to Scotland to write a novel about the Jacobite Rebellion— only to discover that the vivid scenes and the romantic hero she's imagining actually exist...

In the spring of 1708, invading Jacobites plot to land the exiled James Stewart on the Scottish coast to reclaim his crown. When young Sophia Paterson travels to Slains Castle by the sea, she finds herself in the midst of the dangerous intrigue.

Now, American writer Carrie McClelland hopes to base her next bestselling novel on that story of her ancestors in the dim, dark past . Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she starts to write.
But as Carrie's mind slips back in time, she learns of the ultimate betrayal that happened all those years ago, making her the only living person who knows the truthand that knowledge comes very close to destroying her.

Other bestselling books by Susanna Kearsley:
The Rose Garden
A Desperate Fortune
The Firebird

Praise for RITA Nominee, The Winter Sea:
"Lifts readers straight into another time and place to smell the sea, feel the castle walls, see history and sense every emotion. These are marks of a fantastic storyteller." —RT Book Reviews

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