Limonessa's Reviews > Sophia's Secret

Sophia's Secret by Susanna Kearsley
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Jan 05, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: adult-fiction
Read from February 10 to 13, 2011 — I own a copy

Historical fiction is not usually my genre. I picked up this book because I thought it would also contain a paranormal element. Well, it does not - or very slightly so -, but I loved it nonetheless.
Whoever compared it to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander in their reviews is seriously misleading readers, because this book has basically very little to do with it and it does not deal with time travel at all.

The narrative technique was very good. The story is told by a writer, Carrie McClelland, who travels to Cruden Bay, Scotland, to do some research for her upcoming novel. There, while she writes, she starts experiencing flashbacks that she thinks are part of her writing process and therefore figments of her imagination, but that in fact turn out to be the real happenings of the period. The theory presented for the explanation of such phenomenon is what the author calls a genetic memory. Sophia is in reality Carrie's ancestor and the narration switches back and forth between present and past, creating two plots that come woven together in the end.

The story is a compelling, lyrical and heartbreaking love story. It is a bit heavy on the historical references but they're fundamental to the economy of the story and it might help if you're interested in that particular period. I was always fascinated by Scottish history and got my good dose of it with the above mentioned and neverending Outlander series but, being this a previous rising, I got to fill in the gaps of what came before.
As I said i am not a big fan of historical fiction but this book got me hooked till the last bittersweet page.

I was a bit conflicted about the ending though and I'd like to have somebody else's opinion about it: (view spoiler)

All in all a great and satisfying read I'd strongly recommend for those interested in this genre.
I will, without a doubt, read other books by this author in the future.
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Anna [Floanne] it sounds compelling though it vaguely reminds me of "Outlander"

Limonessa i know but some reviewers were saying it's even better so i am hoping it's not just a rip off.
i'm having a hard time lately in finding some truly original books.

Anna [Floanne] i'll wait for your review, then.
PS:"wings" was so disappointing! i was expecting something different, probably. if you still want to read it though, i can lend you my copy next time i'm around. ciao!

Limonessa Yup, saw your review and i think i'll pass. As i said, they're getting repetitive and i think i've read at least 6 or 7 faerie series last year. Thanks though.
Let you know how this one turns out to be.

Anna [Floanne] adding it to my list! ;-) thanks for your very exhaustive review.

Denise thank you for telling me it doesn't compare to Outlander! Will read now! I was the only one of my friends to hate outlander! thanks Denise

Afton Nelson Great review, just finished this book last night and can't stop thinking about it. I too am wondering why they could not get Anna from Kirsty's sister. The only thing I can think is that Anna had become attached to her new family and they didn't want to uproot her? But I can't imagine Moray wouldn't have been the least bit curious to meet her. Then again, maybe it would have been too difficult and Sophia already went through the painful goodbye. That was the one fly in the ointment for me in this story. I did love how Jane flipped out though at the first "ending" to Carrie's story of Sophia because she said everything I was thinking. I did think the genetic memory element could be considered mildly "paranormal," but you are correct that this book is nothing like the Outlander series--other than it's setting in Scotland. This book focuses mainly on the Jacobite uprising while Outlander is more epic in scope.

Limonessa Thanks Afton. And stupid notifications... I can't believe I saw your comment only now. I'm glad you loved this book as well. Have you read any other books by this author?

Afton Nelson Lisa O. wrote: "Thanks Afton. And stupid notifications... I can't believe I saw your comment only now. I'm glad you loved this book as well. Have you read any other books by this author?"

I haven't read anything else by this author yet, but I'm planning on it. I really liked her style.

Vicki This book is nothing at all like Outlander! There are some characters mentioned in The Winter Sea who also figure in Outlander, but that's where the similarities end. I'menjoying The Winter Sea - I love historical fiction - but you can't compare this to Outlander or Susanna Kearsley to Diana Gabaldon.

Heather Wright The Rose Garden by tSusanna Kearsley does have time travel and is a fabulous read.

message 12: by Nae (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nae Ayson Outlander and The Winter Sea take place in the same time period, so there are similar characters. The similarities end there, though. Both are beautiful books, and they're two of the best I've read this year. Firebird, TWS's sequel, is kinda underwhelming.

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