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Season of Storms

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,837 Ratings  ·  521 Reviews
When Celia Sands arrives at a remote Italian villa to star in the first performance of a deceased playwright's masterpiece, she is instantly drawn to the mysteries surrounding the play -- and to her compelling, compassionate employer.
Paperback, 436 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Jove (first published 2001)
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Brittany It's not a romance in terms of something you'd find in the romance section. There's definitely some aspects of different people and their…moreIt's not a romance in terms of something you'd find in the romance section. There's definitely some aspects of different people and their relationships, but it's more about the family's mysterious past and everyone's involvement with the performance. (less)
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Nov 25, 2009 Hannah rated it it was ok
Shelves: gothics
I didn't think I'd ever meet a Kearsley book that I didn't much like, but sadly, "Season of Storms" was it. Don't get me wrong, it was well written like all Kearsley books, and highly evocative of Mary Stewart with lovely place descriptions. The characters were ok, and the ending had a twist that I wasn't expecting, which was nice.

But I wasn't very interested in the plot involving a young stage actress reprising the main lead in a play written for another young stage actress (with the exact same
Aug 03, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle

This novel is the story of Celia Sands, a young actress given the lead role in a play written by Italian poet and playright Galeazzo D'Ascanio some seventy years previously. The play - Il Prezzo - was inspired by D'Ascanio's muse and lover, an English actress also named Celia Sands. (The actresses are not related). The first Celia disappeared on the night before the play was due to have its first performance and D'Ascanio's grandson has decided to recreate the play in the outdoor theatre built i
This is a bit different from Kearsley's other books, but I still enjoyed it once it got going. I could tell it's one of her earlier works. The past timeline doesn't mesh with the modern one very much. It's not well developed at all, but is presented just through occasional flashbacks. These answer questions for the reader rather than driving towards something that needs to be discovered in the present.

The mystery and all the drama are in the modern time, so this reads more like a contemporary r
Apr 03, 2015 Melanie rated it liked it
I LOVE Susanna Kearsley. LOVE her. This, I did not love. I can echo most of the other low-star reviews: slow start/awkward pacing; forcing a novel into 5 acts; uneven use of paranormal elements, etc. However, I will focus on my main beefs: characters and romance. Warning: Minor spoilers may be ahead.

Biggest problem: Celia. I realize this one of Kearsley's older works, but Celia could have walked straight out of a 1978 Janet Dailey Harlequin. She's in her very early 20s, beautiful and talented bu
Diane Lynn
Sep 05, 2014 Diane Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read with Jeannette

A lot of mystery and a bit of suspense made this a very good story. It was very different from other books I've read by Susanna Kearsley in that the story set in the past was almost nonexistent. At first I missed the historical part but then the characters and all the mysteries grew on me. I was able to figure out all of the mysteries because the clues are there but that didn't matter because Kearsley's writing always makes the journey so enjoyable. I wasn't sure I would
Jul 13, 2012 Anna marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
When you're skimming before page 50, you know a DNF isn't far away. I so want to like Kearsley, but apart from Every Secret Thing it just ain't happening :-(
Apr 04, 2015 Nikki rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, mystery
There’s so much about reading Susanna Kearsley that reminds me of reading Mary Stewart’s work. Something about the sense of place (this is so firmly Italy, and the house and its grounds are so easy to imagine), the female heroine, the romance… Except it’s better, because it steers away from some of the colonial and sexist attitudes that were still pretty firmly entrenched in Mary Stewart’s work, despite her independent and reasonably proactive heroines.

And this book especially won me over, becau
Rio (Lynne)
In the 1920's an actress, Celia Sands became the lover and muse of the playwright Galeazza D'Ascanio. He built the beautiful Il Piacere for her and wrote a play for her to star in . The night before she was supposed to take stage she disappeared. This book is different than the last two Kearsley books I read. This one isn't about time travel or connections with people of the past (well, not sort of.) In this one D'Ascanio's grandson Alex resurrects the play his Grandfather wrote and Celia Sands ...more
Oct 11, 2014 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This was so boring. And yet it was boring in an interesting way, because I thought Season of Storms had all the familiar Kearsley elements, but in paper doll form, as if the characters were cutouts tacked onto landscapes, without that final touch to make them live.

I can get more specific and point out that the past was very (very) poorly developed and barely integrated with the present; that the conflict and the villain were choreographed from page one; that the characterization was too slight
Christy B
Feb 16, 2011 Christy B rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction, italy
Season of Storms is my third Susanna Kearsley novel, and it was another good one.

During early 1900s Italy, playwright Galeazzo D'Ascanio, living at his villa Il Piascere writes a play for his love, actress Celia Sands. Only to have her disappear the night before the play's premiere.

In the modern day, another actress named Celia Sands (no relation to the first) is offered the part in the play written for Celia the first, a play that has yet to see the light of day. The play will be staged by D'As
Jan 02, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars...

Excellent book and start of my 2015 reading!

This book is a re-issue of one written earlier in her career, 2001 I think. It follows a different path than most of her books, and it doesn't have a time travel element per se. Written in a modern gothic style, it is worded eloquently and wonderfully. I sound like a fangirl, and that I am!
I see that many didn't enjoy it as much as I did, and I hate that. It's a great book. The mysteries in the storyline aren't that hard to figure out, but
Apr 14, 2011 Jemidar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5 stars

Wow. Susanna Kearsley books just keep getting better and better.

This book was a real page turner for me, and I loved that the element of suspense was at the forefront. There are less of the historical details in the alternative storyline in this one, in fact there is less of the alternative story line period than there usually is, but it really suits this story and it's really well done.

If you want a gentle, well written romance with Gothic overtones, and a "mystery" with a nic
SOS Aloha
Jul 10, 2015 SOS Aloha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Storms make trees take deeper roots. - Dolly Parton

SEASON OF STORMS was first published in 2001. Sourcebooks rereleased this title with the following note from Susanna:

This book was first published when emails were rare and nobody I knew owned a cell phone. to update the story's technology would have unraveled the story itself, so I've left the things the way I first wrote them, and hope you'll indulge me.

I won this book last summer during a Sourcebooks promotion. Although I enjoyed other books
Feb 07, 2012 Diana rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
This is tough. Not the typical Susanna Kearsley work by any stretch of the imagination. I thought it was perhaps her first novel, but that was Marianna, which was, in spite of my lack of enthusiasm for it in comparison to The Winter Sea and the exquisite The Rose Garden, vastly superior to this.

I think the device of trying to fit the story into the structure of the 5 acts of the play caused the real problem. The entire first act trip through Venice was dull. What little foreshadow there was didn
Celia Sands is an actress who is invited to take part in a production of a play that's been labeled cursed; written by Galeazzo D'Ascanio in the early 1900s for his mistress, also named Celia Sands, the play has never been successfully produced since the earlier Celia's mysterious disappearance just before its premiere. Now, D'Ascanio's grandson wants to put on the play at Galeazzo's villa in northern Italy, but when Celia arrives there, strange things begin to happen. Though I liked the charact ...more
Jan 22, 2016 Kati rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
4.5 stars
Like all of the Susanna Kearsley books that I've read this one really drew me in, so beautifully written with such a strong sense of place and people.
Katie/Doing Dewey
This is the first book I've read by Susanna Kearsley and it was everything I had hoped for. The dual narrative was very enjoyable. Although the focus was clearly on the story set in the present, I enjoyed reading about past events that had happened at each location. They added context to the present-day mystery and presented a bit of a mystery of their own. The descriptions of the Italian setting were beautiful. The location is very atmospheric and the hints of the supernatural added some spice ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Krystal rated it it was amazing
In this novel, Susanna Kearsley takes us into the world of theatre. I find it interesting that at least two of her novels that I've read now have included characters in worlds that I'm fairly well familiar with. It was very interesting to go behind the scenes of the production they set to put on in this story, being a former theatre hand myself. It makes it even more fun to immerse myself into the world of the book.

Of course, in this novel there is far more going on than just the play they're wo
Season of Storms - G
Kearsley, Susanna
The author weaves two stories in one. One is about a turn of the century actress, Celia Sands, who mysteriously disappeared, during a torrid affair with her wealthy, married Italian lover, who wrote a play for her. She never had an opportunity to perform the leading role in her lover's masterpiece, however, due to her untimely disappearance. The main story line is about a present day actress of the same name, though no relation, who is called upon to play the
Feb 24, 2012 Meg rated it liked it
This is my 4th Susanna Kearsley book and my least favorite so far. It was still an entertaining quick read with beautiful descriptions of Italy (a favorite country of mine)an old villa (I LOVE old villas!) and some lovely characters. However, I did find it predictable and anti-climatic which is a huge problem for me. The characters were pretty one dimensional, and I kept waiting for something that blew me away. But no. Even the emotions of the characters ran a bit cold for me. I wasn't feeling m ...more
Feb 27, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it
This is the first book I have read by Kearsley and I hear so much about her stories… When I first saw this book I was captivated by the cover and when I read the description I was even more drawn in….so my expectations were rather high.

First, I must say what a great plot and setting for a story! An isolated villa, mysterious happenings, Italy, playwrights, murder, and a hunting past that stays in the present. Themes of an enthralling read. So why wasn’t I hooked in as thought I would be? I felt
Nov 16, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, fiction, 2014
I'll read anything she writes :)
Jun 20, 2013 Renee rated it really liked it
Great characters and interesting mystery. Susanna Kearsley creates the best heroes ever! I had claimed that I was saving this authors' books and reading through them slowly. Alas, my will-power did not withstand the test. I've read and adored The Rose Garden, The Winter Sea, and The Firebird. I've read and thoroughly enjoyed Mariana, The Shadowing Horses, and Season of Storms. Now all I have left is Every Secret Thing. How long til I crack the cover? . . . I'll let you know!
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
I love reading this author's books but this was not a favorite. I'd give it 3.5 stars but it's just not a four. Most of it takes place in Italy in a beautiful setting at the villa of a famous playwright who died fifty years previously One of the things I love about reading Susanna Kearsley's books is the way she makes me feel like I am right in the book and I can see the settings. I like being in her books and they are just a comfortable place to be. In this story the grandson of the deceased pl ...more
Emma Jolie
My love for Italy, once again, convinced me to buy a book and although this was an entertaining book to read, I have to say that it wasn't one of my favorites.

The story is good, the characters are fun, but the mystery is below average. It might have to do with the fact that I read mysteries on a weekly basis and have plenty of past reading experiences to compare it to. I could see the bad guys a mile away and this resulted in me feeling that I had been robbed of a good ending. I am also a huge f
Apr 07, 2015 Linda rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-crime, italy
istory repeats itself at an estate high above the shores of Lake Garda, where a century ago, renowned playwright Galeazzo D'Ascanio wrote a drama, considered to be his masterpiece, expressly for his muse, actress Celia Sands. She disappeared without a trace on the eve of its opening, leaving him broken and bereft, and locals believe that she has haunted the estate ever since. Now his grandson, Alessandro, has endowed the property to a historic trust, and as a final tribute to Galeazzo, he plans ...more
Sep 17, 2014 Steph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read about 80% of Kearsley's published works and if you handed me this novel without the cover I honestly wouldn't think "Season of Storms" was one of hers. Being a huge fan of Kearsley that may sound like a bad thing, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this and how different it was from her other works. She really puts you in a whole other world and I was sad to leave Il Piacere at the end.
Brittain (Tara Belle Talking)
Susanna Kearsley really is a wonderful author. I have read almost every one of her books and each one is wonderful. Season of Storms is no exception.

There is deceit, lying, murder, ill-fated love, and drama but it is never overbearing in any way. Celia has real concerns and carries guilt from her mother and wants to make her own way in the world. While she is strong willed and determined, she has fears. Rupert and Bryan are kind and perfect father figures throughout the book. The mystery in the
Apr 14, 2011 Samantha rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 03, 2014 Darcy rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I've loved every other book I've read by Susanna Kearsley, but this one was a struggle. It took 100 pages to arrive at the story's locale, and another 100 before all the main characters were introduced. Far from setting the mood of the piece, I found elaborate descriptions of the scenery to be tiresome and quickly found myself skimming them. I even saw the big plot twist finale coming. All in all, I sort of wish I hadn't been too stubborn to give up on this one.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 08, 2015 12:56PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley 1 3 Oct 19, 2014 07:49PM  
  • Safekeeping
  • The Memory Garden
  • The Other Side of Midnight
  • Island of the Swans
  • The Misbegotten
  • This Rough Magic
  • Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven
  • Whispers in the Sand
  • The Island House
  • Twelfth Night (Lady Julia Grey, #5.6)
  • The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, #11)
  • Who Asked You?
  • The Dancing Floor
Aka Emma Cole.

Susanna Kearsley studied politics and international development at university, and has worked as a museum curator.

Her first novel Mariana won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Literary Prize and launched her writing career. Susanna continued her mix of the historical and paranormal in novels The Splendour Falls, Named of the Dragon, Shadowy Horses and Season of Storms.

Susanna Kearsle
More about Susanna Kearsley...

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“Was there another Celia Sands?” 0 likes
“then, stop worrying so much what the rest of us think; just get on the damned donkey and ride it.” 0 likes
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