The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Source & Format: purchased; nookbook
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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…
I am not convinced that I will have the proper words to do this book justice. It was an absolutely beautiful story, with all the elements that I love best. This is historical fiction at its finest, properly researched with just the right amount of imagination to give it a little extra.
I was slightly unsure how I was going to feel about it, because I found the actual historical aspect involving King James and the Jacobites and the war all a bit confusing in the beginning. Luckily, Kearsley included a very great scene where a character broke it down a bit, and from that point on I was able to follow along and truly disappear into the lives of the characters. And oh- what lovely characters they all were! Many times, when books go back and forth between time periods and character point of views, it can get slightly muffled in a reader’s mind. That absolutely never happened in this book. The author truly made me care deeply about all the people I met on my journey throughout Slains.
I think that one of my favorite parts of the whole story was the creativity behind having a protagonist doing research for her own novel, coming across this interesting secret history that traces back in her own lineage, and being able to follow along with her process of writing and learning about her own ancestor. It was executed flawlessly. I am in love with books about books and books within books, so this was absolutely my cup of tea. I can’t wait to read it again, and I highly recommend that others pick it up and do the same.
“And where he had run out of room to stand a book up properly on edge, he’d laid it horizontally across the top of its companions and stacked others over that, so there were books wedged in wherever there was space. It had the same effect on me as the sight of a candy store had on a six-year-old.”
“But God passes His affairs into the hands of men, and there the trouble lies.”
This is absolutely a book that you want to stay up and finish late into the night. It actually has a nice ambience reading it into the evening, curled up under some blankets. You can sleep another time 😉
Thanks for reading =)