Fantasy, historical fiction, romance

Book Review: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Title: The Winter Sea
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Length: 544, Kindle Book
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

History has all but forgotten…
In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her…

This was a reread for me and what a wonderful reread this was. I think I originally read this two years ago or so to take my mind off of finals and because of that I couldn’t really enjoy it to the fullest. I definitely loved it more than when I first read it.

Carrie is such an endearing character. I can’t tell if it’s because I also (attempt) to write novels or her love of history or how swept up she becomes in Cruden Bay but either way I loved her almost instantly. She’s consistent and thoughtful and questions what’s happening to her while still being able to deal with it.

I loved how Kearsley told the story of Slains as if Carrie was really writing it. Even leaving out scenes that Carrie saw but wouldn’t work well in a novel. It was enchanting and although I did feel sometimes feel impatient with both stories (wanting to be reading Carrie’s POV rather than the novel or vice versa) it wasn’t often enough that it made reading tedious.

I also liked how Carrie’s life somewhat reflected Sophia’s although not exactly and only from time to time. I think it made a bigger connection between Carrie and Sophia. This is actually the novel that made me want to read more historical fiction and I wish I had more time with Carrie and her unique ability. Kearsley kind of set up the ending to allow for another novel but I think her second novel in that world is built on a different character. Either way I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to read more from Kearsley.

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