Saturday, December 4, 2010

Review: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley


Title: The Winter Sea 
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Genre: Contemporary/Historical Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks (re-published Dec 2010) 
Number of Pages: 528

The Winter Sea is a beautiful story that will leave you wanting to know more about your ancestors and Scottish history.It will transport you to another time and place and make you feel like you are writing  the story that is being told inside the story along with the main character, Carrie.
Carrie McClelland is a writer working on her next book about Colonel Nathaniel Hooke who was involved with Scottish uprising of 1708 who tried to put James Stuart on the throne of Scotland. However, she's having writers block and goes to visit her agent in Scotland. On her way to her agent's house she stumbles on a castle ruin and feels instantly connected to it. Suddenly Carrie's novel takes on a completely different tone then she thought it would, and Nathaniel Hooke is no longer the central character-Sophia Paterson's,a  distant relative of Carrie's, voice cries out to be heard instead. Switching back and forth from the present time to the past, Carrie realizes that what she's writing isn't coming from the history books she's read, but from memory.When what she writes is proven true by historical fact, she delves into finding out how she can have her ancestors memories.. 

The romance that happens in both stories being told is wonderful and bittersweet. The one in the past will have you feeling the pain that the heroine of Carrie's book went through. I was crying and sighing at the same time. The one in the present is just as nice and you'll love the brothers that Carrie has to chose from.  Usually when books are set in two time periods it's really hard to go back and forth, but such was not the case here. I found myself enjoying both stories. 

Towards the end of the book the story was focused more on the story being told in the past, but I found myself being ok with it-I wanted to find out what happened to Sophia and the man she loved, and how the Scottish rebellion failed and who the traitors were.  

I know that I said I was through with historical romances, but this book reminded me why I can't let go of them. When done properly, you find yourself immersed in another time and  place. I find myself now wanting to know more about the little known Scottish Rebellion of 1708...a lot is written about the larger rebellion, but not this small one which seemed more secretive. It's been a long time since I've read a romance that's made me want to learn more about a specific time period. This is the perfect book to read when you want to lose yourself in the past.