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The Winter Sea

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  802 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Escaping an unhappy marriage and an unsatisfactory job, Cassie Holloway moves to the little Australian coastal town of Whitby Point. There she meets the Aquino family, whose fishing business was founded by their ancestor, Giuseppe, an Italian immigrant, some ninety years before. Life for Cassie on the south west coast is sweet as she sets up a successful restaurant and ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published October 22nd 2013)
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"Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned."

----James Joyce

Di Morrissey, one of Australia's most popular female novelists and a best-selling author, pens her new novel, The Winter Sea that follows an Italian family's journey surrounding their fishing business through three generations in Australia and admist of all the family drama and secrets, there lies a beautiful love story.


Escaping an
Giuseppe dAquino left his beloved home in the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Italy as a young man. He had been born there, had grown up with his family of fishermen and been through the Great War. With his family and much of the villagers so terribly poor, he decided to head for America to make a new life; the money he would be able to send his family would help them immensely. But his plans were thwarted when he missed the ship heading to America the cargo ship Ricconigi was next out of ...more
☼♄Jülie 

The Winter Sea by Di Morrissey

A nice easy read, not too taxing. It gives a lot of insight into the Italian migration to Australia prior to WW2 and their valuable input into the fishing industry here, as well as their motives for the need to migrate.

This is my first venture into the Di Morrissey realms and for the most part I enjoyed the nice easy flow of the story, though if I had one small criticism it would be the occasional sense that the story was being related as if to a child in a
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zzzzzzzz, net-galley
I was given a copy of this book through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I did not enjoy this author's writing style. Advancing the plot using dialogue with constant repetition of events was odd and left the characters sounding wooden. I felt like I was reading someone's high school book report on Italian fisherman and their migration to Australia post WW1.

The book's historical opening transforms into a mediocre love story with a stereotypical cast, a predictable plot with a
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Original review can be found at
3.5 stars

I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This book tells two stories, one from the past and one in the present, that share a long buried connection. I really enjoy this type of story and trying to figure out what the connection or mystery may be.

The story begins in the past with Giuseppe (Joe) as he grows up in a poor little Italian fishing
3.5**** This was my first Di Morrissey book and one of my first audio books, perhaps not the best combination, I think I'd have enjoyed it that bit more had I read it myself, the narrators take on Cassie and the way she made her speak was not my idea of how someone who used to be a lawyer would speak, she made her sound whiney and stupid, but overall the story was well done. I enjoyed the dual timeline and the mystery that came up 3/4 of the way through and how it all tied together. The past ...more
Bronwyn Prior
Interesting back story about migration. I enjoyed this first part of the book, but it went downhill when she came forward to modern times. The dialogue was terrible - pat, too nice and like a high school student would write. The plot was simplistic and the 'twist' was seen a mile away.
OK if you want something very light, but otherwise give it a miss.
Liza Perrat
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
An easy audiobook listen... entertaining story. The text would have benefited from editing though... too many he said/she said and over explanations, as if the reader was a child.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written and captivating novel that will not let you put it down until the last page has been read. This story begins many years ago and allows the reader to become acquainted with the family at the heart of the book before moving to the present.

Through multiple years and generations, this story bends and weaves around the D'aquino family as well as a main character that you can't help but love for her personality and passion for life.

This is a book that I found it easy to
Oct 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
I won a copy of the book through the First Reads giveaway program.

This book was not good. At all.

1. It was too long, it could have done with a serious edit and shaved down 100 pages.

2. I didn't like the author's writing style; she has a tendency to describe expositions in long dialogues by each character and shows, rather than tell.

3. The characters are hilariously cliched. Sometimes, I felt I was watching a bad movie on Lifetime. Actually, no, that's not true. Watching a bad movie is more fun.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Winter Sea by Di Morrissey starts off in a fishing village off the coast in the islands of Italy.

It then takes you to a fishing village and small coastal town on the south coast of NSW called Whitby Point in Australia to a boatshed found on the beach which in turn becomes and is transformed into someone's holiday home and with more dreams and aspirations and guidance becomes a successful seafood restaurant aptly named "The Blue Boatshed".

If you like tales of the sea and fishing & finding
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmmm, well I hadn't read any of Di Morrissey before and this one was lent with glowing recommendations as being "unputdownable" but I was left feeling that I may not seek out too many more by this author.
As the rating says, it was OK, and I liked it enough to finish it, but the characters & storyline were predictable and a bit annoying. I enjoyed the interwoven tale of how the young Guiseppe Aquino came to Australia and his early history, much more than the modern part of the tale of his
Sue Shepherd
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is my first Di Morrissey read and I found it an easy and enjoyable one. As I grew up on the south coast of NSW it was great to hear all those familiar place names again. The flow of the story was good enough for me to want to find out what actually happened to the characters and I'm pleased to say I didn't pick the result, so I'd definitely recommend this book.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read most of Di Morrissey'sbooks and I thought this one was going to disappoint me. It didn't. Reading the history of the Aquino family and the fishing at Whitby Bay and how this relates to Cassie going through a divorce is true Di Morrissey. It amazes me how the relationships through the history interrelate to Cassie's present problems.
Dzintra aka Ingrid
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh Di what a superb of the best books I have read with just the right amount of and to top it off set in an area not too far away from me!
Oct 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Ugh, the jacket states this is one of Australia's most loved and prolific authors. Poor Australia.
Kate S
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This was a coincidence novel I enjoyed reading. It was a quick read which was relaxing. I found this to be a bit like some of Sidney Sheldon's books. I will look for other books by this author.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I made it just under half way through when I gave up. There is nothing actually wrong with the book. The writing isn't terrible, and the story isn't really bad, but I got to the point where I just didn't care about what happens in Cassie's new life. The first part of the book surrounding the story of Giuseppe I found far more interesting.

I understand that The Winter Sea is meant to have a character driven rather than plot driven, but, in my opinion, even in character driven stories there is an
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the first book by Di Morrissey that I have read and I quite enjoyed it. The writing style was very simplistic and the dialogue at times seemed a little stiff, but the book was an easy read. I did, however, struggle to get through the first 100 pages of the book as it was all about the background history of an Italian family and I was itching to start reading about the main character in modern Australia, but it got there eventually, and as I progressed through the story, I realised how ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked up this novel on a recommendation of a "If you like Kate Morton..." list, and I can see the similarities: this is a story told in two separate timelines that ultimately intersect, revealing a huge family secret with implications reaching into the more current setting. But I didn't find Morrissey's work as satisfying as Morton's various novels for a few different reasons. First of all, Morrissey has this strange way of overtly narrating through the characters' dialogue, which often ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting: there are two books by the same title; the "other" book is by author Susanna Kearsley.
This review is for The Winter Sea, by Di Morrissey.
Ms. Morrissey is an accomplished author; in this book, she has written a historically descriptive story about Sydney, Australia and its nearby seaside villages. The story involves a young Italian immigrant fisherman, who was sponsored by his village in Italy to go to America, and "make his fortune" there, in the hopes that he will eventually assist
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
An historical fiction, romance, flashback, and mystery all in one. This is my first book by Di Morrissey. I loved this book.
The book starts in Italy and covers time to 2010 or so. In modern day the book tells the story of a lawyer, Cassie Holloway, who escaping an unhappy marriage and an unsatisfactory job,moves to the little Australian coastal town of Whitby Point. There she meets the Aquino family, whose fishing business was founded by their ancestor, Giuseppe, an Italian immigrant, some
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I found this book very slow to get into in terms of plot speed, and although the historical details and descriptions of places and people was somewhat interesting there was a lot of extraneous detail that was irrelevant to the plot and quite tedious to read. I listened to this as an audio book and ended up playing it at 1.5 times the speed just to get it moving at a faster pace!!

The plot twist was predictable and the tension wasnt really enough to make it a page turner but at least I can say Ive
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars

The weakest novel from Morrissey that I have read thus far.

It is hard to suspend disbelief that this high flying corporate lawyer who worked at a top law firm was just so dumb and co-dependent. Running to her mum or leaning on a man (her ex and then eventually Michael) when things became tough.

I did chuckle that Cassie and Michael weren't (conveniently) related, to avoid an awkward incestuous storyline.

Unlike her other novels, there was almost zero reference to the natural environment.
Lauren Wallace
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
"Birdie, it will be simple, trust me." But of course it wasn't" (250)

This book was ok, and had some good plot twists. I found it a bit took long and I found it a bit too much information sometimes. This book could have been 200 pages and still get the same plot points. I enjoyed one the stories more than the other character story. I found there was too much time between character switch and made it hard to remember the past plot points.

This book was a long read, as I read it in about 4 days.

Kerrie Paterson
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I enjoyed the story and admire the research that has gone into the book, I felt much of the dialogues was clunky, especially in modern times (eg little use of contractions etc). The exposition of the historical facts often seemed too heavy handed - either in great chunks or in "as you know, Jim" type dialogue. But having said that, the story was interesting and I learnt more about the South Coast's history and fishing industry.
Louisa Eggleton
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
A novel about a fishing community in NSW. I loved the feeling I got reading about Cassie tucked away, living a simple life. I enjoyed the story of Joe coming to Oz. But I didn't love how stilted the dialogue of the novel was nor how twee sections of the novel appeared. I wanted to love it, especially because it was Aussie, but unfortunately it was more soapie than drama. A good read if you're willing to turn your brain off first.
Joanne Mawhirt
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gives an insight into the early immigration period in Australian history and to those immigrants affected at the time of World War II, the strong, supportive ties of the hard working Italian families and their involvement in the history the fishing industry.

A good story of family history, secrets and resolutions. An easy, light, sometimes sad, entertaining read, always keeping the reader wondering where's the connection? Enjoyed.
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Di Morrissey (born 18 March 1943 in Wingham, New South Wales) is one of Australia's most popular female novelists. She grew up in the remote surrounds of Pittwater, north of Sydney, Australia.

Growing up she counted famous Australian actor Chips Rafferty as a close mentor and friend who helped provide for her and her mother after the death of her father as a child, sending them overseas to

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