This is the second Susanna Kearsley novel that I've read and I can see her becoming a favourite author. The Winter Sea (or Sophia's Secret) is set in...moreThis is the second Susanna Kearsley novel that I've read and I can see her becoming a favourite author. The Winter Sea (or Sophia's Secret) is set in Scotland in and around Slains Castle near Aberdeen. Carrie McLelland an historical novelist is writing a novel about the 1708 Jacobite rebellion, but is finding it hard to get started, until on a visit to a friend she sees Slains Caslte, immediately she knows that she has been using the wrong background (trying to write the book set in the court of Saint Germaine) and hires a cottage in the village of Cruden Bay to write her novel. One story in this book is about Carrie's voyage of discovery as she writes her book, the other story is Sophia's, born in the late 1690s, she arrives at Slain's Castle by invitate of Countess Erroll to make the place her hom in 1707, the scene is set.
To Carrie, Sophia is just another fictional character there to tell the story of what happened in 1708; at least to start with. As the novel progresses and as Carrie writes she realises that the story is a part of her, Sophia Paterson, she'd chosen that name because one of her ancestors was called that and she was from Scotland, if from the West coast (Kircudbright) not the East Coast, but hey, she was only a fictional character. Except, research starts to through up references to characters in Carrie's novel, she comes across a letter that mentions a Mistress Sophia Paterson travelling to Slains to take up a place in the Countess of Erroll's household; other instances like this finally tell Carrie that what she is writing is what really happened to her ancestor and that she is writing from memory, genetic memory.
The novel (both of them) works really well, both stories are engaging and both involve a love story. The 1708 uprising never happened, King James set sail from France, but circumstances conspired against him and he didn't land then. The historical side of this novel is well researched and presented, as Carrie is portrayed as a historical novelist, you get a sense of how Susanna Kearsley as a novelist whose books are often set in both the modern world and a historical one researches herself.
A thoroughly enjoyable novel, one I'm sure I'll reread in the future
Re-read Nov 2011 Still cried at the end even though I knew what was coming.
Another excellent novel from Susanna Kearsley. Verity Grey is a Finds Supervisor, who works on archaelogical digs in various parts of the country. She...moreAnother excellent novel from Susanna Kearsley. Verity Grey is a Finds Supervisor, who works on archaelogical digs in various parts of the country. She has a job opportunity in Scotland near the village of Eyemouth in Berwickshire. Peter Quinnell an eccentric researcher into the lost Roman Ninth Legion, is settled at Rosehill a house just outside Eyemouth and is searching in the field at the house for a Roman Marching Camp, which he is convinced belonged to the Ninth. There is no evidence for this, beyond a small boy's vision of a Sentinel protecting the site.
Verity is pulled into Peter's vision of the site being the Ninth's marching camp, and into the boy Robbie's visions. Along with Alisatir (her ex) an expert in geophysics and David Fortune a local archaelogist and leader of the dig, they begin their investigations. Peter's granddaughter Fabia is the site photographer.
At first Verity is suspicious of Robbie's abilities, but as the novel progresses, she becomes his staunchest ally, especially after the Sentinel manages to communicate with them through Robbie, and she realises that he is protecting her personally, and those she loves.
This is a novel that is every bit as good as The Winter Sea and Marianna, and makes me even more determined to find and read more of Kearsley's books.
A quick good gothic read for my 2nd book of 2012. I was pleased that though I remembered the characters I didn't remember who was the baddie, so I cou...moreA quick good gothic read for my 2nd book of 2012. I was pleased that though I remembered the characters I didn't remember who was the baddie, so I could relate to Gianetta when she was in trouble. (less)
My fourth Kearsley novel and though it didn't live up to Marianna or The Winter Sea, it was nevertheless an excellent thriller to the end. I certainly...moreMy fourth Kearsley novel and though it didn't live up to Marianna or The Winter Sea, it was nevertheless an excellent thriller to the end. I certainly didn't see the ending coming, which is always nice, so often it's easy to guess where a book is going, this one kept me thinking right to the end.
Lynette Ravenshaw accepts an invitation from Bridget Cooper, one of the author's she represents at the literary agency she works for, to spend Christmas holidays with her and her boyfriend James Swift in Angle, Pembrokeshire. Lyn accepts, and is happy to meet James an author she really appreciates, especially as she is given the opportunity to sign James for her literary agency from the one he is currently with.
One of the things I really like about Kearsley's novels is her ability to set the scene, to describe the countryside in which her tales are told; she makes an area come alive. I have never visited this part of Wales, yet she makes it real, especially her description of Pembroke Caslte and the surrounding area (but then, I like Castles!).
As the story unfolds, we learn that Lyn was unsuccesfully married and was more relieved than grief stricken when she learned her husband had died in a car crash - her grief is more for the loss of her son Justin as a newborn baby, and Kearsley's description of this loss is heartbreaking. Every night, Lyn suffers the same dream about the loss of her baby, until that is the first night at the farm in Angle, when her dream changes, and a lady in a blue dress asks her to take care of her small son.
A neighbour at the farm is Elen, also a young widow, with a baby son Stevie - Elen is convinced that Stevie is in some kind of danger from the dragon, and that her friend Margaret has told her that Lyn will become Stevie's protector. Is Margaret the same lady as the lady in a blue dress that Lyn sees in her dreams (the Lady Margaret Beaufort mother of Henry Tudor), who is threatening Elen and young Stevie, and what have the prophecies of Merlin to do with the story?
As Lyn and Bridget settle in to their holiday, they meet the playwright Gareth Morgan, a write Lyn really rates, but he is rude and arrogant towards her, believing she is at first a journalist - he is fiercly protective of his privacy - and later that she has been sent by her literary agency to try and sign him to their books. But, he is also one of Elen and Stevie's biggest defenders, and he can help Lyn with unravelling local history, the prophecies of Merlin and the story of Henry Tudor.
I found the history intriguing as I usually do in a Kearsley novel, and the hints at Stevie being a reincarnation of Arthur fascinating. I was pleased to see Kearsley use the tale of Merlin as a young boy and his meeting with Vortigern in this book, the same tale told in her novel The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart, who I believe is an influence on Kearsley's novels.
A thoroughly enjoyable novel, which I will certainly read again at some point:-)(less)
Though I've given this book only two stars, there were some times when the book was very gripping to read, and I can understand why it's being getting...moreThough I've given this book only two stars, there were some times when the book was very gripping to read, and I can understand why it's being getting some many diverse reviews.
One of the major things is it could really have done with being tightened up a lot, there's whole sections that could be deleted, and the other really annoying thing is that it could have done with a serious proof reading, there were times where sentences didn't make any kind of sense as a word that should have been edited out had been left in.
It was an okay read, but I won't be keeping it.(less)
I enjoyed this one, the current book in the Arcane Soceity series, always intrigued by the idea of paranormal powers and secret societies for good and...moreI enjoyed this one, the current book in the Arcane Soceity series, always intrigued by the idea of paranormal powers and secret societies for good and evil - a bit cliched, but done well is enjoyable.
Chloe is a dreamlight reader, and a Private Investigator. Jack Winters is a direct descendent of Nicholas Winters an alchemist from the 17th century who somehow managed to alter his DNA using the Burning Lamp (really have to suspend disbelief for this one!), and some of his direct male descendents will inherit this gene and go mad unless they can find a woman who can manipulate the Burning Lamp - Chloe is that woman.
The next book takes place in the late 19th century under Krentz's pseudonym Amanda Quick - the two main characters from that book are mentioned in this one, we already know Adelaide Pyne will help Griffin Winters with the Burning Lamp and suceed as Chloe does, but I guess what we don't know is the back story and how else it fits into the Arcane series.
It was interesting to see a possible pointer towards Fallon Jones's future romance with a new resident of Scargill Cove where he has his offices - now that's one story I hope Krentz hurries up and writes!(less)
I really enjoyed the atmosphere in this book. Lake Garda in Italy is the setting for the action which centres around the production of a play written...moreI really enjoyed the atmosphere in this book. Lake Garda in Italy is the setting for the action which centres around the production of a play written in the 1930s for the actress Celia Sands. Seventy years later, another Celia Sands (not related) is to take on the role that the original never got to play, having disappeared the night before it opened. But what really happened to the first Celia, will this version of the play be dogged by difficulties as others have been?
I thought this one of Kearlsey's to be the nearest in 'feel' to Mary Stewart's novels and I enjoyed it a lot.(less)