The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley is a combination historical fiction and contemporary with romances taking place during both time lines and running parallel to each other. Kearsley uses one central character, Carrie McClelland, to tie both storylines and romances together.
|James VIII of Scotland |
(1688 - 1766)
|Admiral Thomas Gordon|
|James, 4th Duke of Hamilton|
(1658 - 1712)
But Kearsley's main character is Carrie McClellan and she is a historical fiction romance writer, so think of this as a romance within a romance. By setting up the story this way, Kearsley uses her character's portrayal as a writer to incorporate pertinent historical background and deftly avoids making it feel like info-dump, instead history becomes a key element of the exciting romance/story Carrie is weaving. However, this set-up also serves to give readers an intimate view into a writers world: how they conduct research, the writing process, and even little details like daily routines, and even relationships with readers. I loved that little peek into a writers' world.
All of those details are an intrinsic part of the contemporary storyline which includes a straight forward romance with Carrie as the female protagonist. This romance narrated in the first point of view from Carrie's perspective has little angst and not much conflict, but it includes some of my favorite secondary characters and it ties in quite well with the historical fiction story and romance. Additionally, in Mariana I loved how Kearsley executed the time-travel aspect of her story, in The Winter Sea although on the surface the end result of how Carrie gains knowledge about a different period in time may sound similar, in reality it is quite different and if not necessarily as arresting to me, how Kearsley develops this aspect of the story is definitely intriguing.
Kearsley's writing swept me away to Scotland, both to 1708 and contemporary times. This is only my second read by this author, but I'm loving her writing style, the excellent fusion of historical fiction romance and contemporary romance that she uses to whisk me away to another time while simultaneously keeping me grounded to the present, and her talent for bringing historical characters to life and creating a romance that stays with me. So, the end result is that I will definitely continue to explore her backlist with pleasure.
|Slains Castle, Cruden Bay, Scotland|
Part I: Group Read: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley hosted by Christine of The happily ever after...
Part II: Group Read The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Your review is so full of interesting explanations...it feels very professional lolReplyDelete
Hope you can read more of hers...I'm reading "Mariana" next month and "Every Secret Thing" in April, want to read it too so we can compare thoughts after?
Sonia, I was taken with how Kearsley plotted the parallel stories. I think they worked quite well. But, at the same time the stories, particularly the one in 1708 really kept me glued to the pages until the very end. I really liked this book!Delete
I will be reading more... "The Rose Garden" is next. I already have it in my possession. :D Can't wait to read your thoughts on "Mariana" and will definitely discuss it with you.
I finally finished reading this! Oye! I actually went three weeks without having finished a book--it was killing me! Just too busy.. but the book was great. Really enjoyed the way the past and present were woven together and I learned so much about that little time period that I was really clueless about before. I love your photo of Slains Castle. That's exactly how I pictured it. :)ReplyDelete
Firebird comes out in the US in June and it is the story about Anna--also written in a contemporary and historical blended story. Did you know that?
Christine, I'm glad you really enjoyed The Winter Sea. Isn't the historical fiction aspect of this book interesting? I really had not read anything about this 1708 Jacobite conspiracy, it's always about Bonnie Prince Charlie! So, you are not the only one.Delete
I found so many beautiful pictures of Slains Castle. It makes me dream of going there. How about you? What a gorgeous place!
I'm looking forward to reading The Firebird, thanks for the heads up about that story I didn't know about it! It will be wonderful to know what happened to Anna! I do wonder if Carrie and Graham will be part of that story too.
I enjoyed this so much that I was actually sad to finish it. I wish it had gone on for another hundred or more pages. Leaving Carrie and Sophia was like leaving some very good friends you're not sure you'll be seeing again.ReplyDelete
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