Review: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Genre: Contemporary/Historical Fiction
Release Date: December 1, 2010
Source: Personal Copy
After trying and failing to find inspiration in France, Carrie McClelland, a best selling novelist, finds herself traveling to Scotland's Cruden Bay to settle in and do some research for her upcoming book. Fascinated by her own personal Scottish history, Carrie's plan is to pen a historical fiction that takes place during the Jacobite invasion to reinstate King James to the Scottish throne while using her ancestor Sophia Paterson as the story's heroine. After a visit to the ancient Slain's castle, Carrie finds herself immediately inspired. As her story develops, she begins to realize that what she has written is more historically accurate than she thought and begins to wonder if maybe her memories are actually those of her ancestors.
The main idea behind The Winter Sea was the presentation of a dual narrative; the present day alternating with the past. The story was surprisingly well written, and I found myself engrossed in the descriptions of the Scottish coast. It was the detailed account of the rainy and rugged town of Cruden Bay that hooked me in the beginning, and I was quickly transported to the cold, volatile land. In this respect, I loved the fact that this book allowed me to do a little armchair travel.
Overall, the entire book was a little too long for my tastes. I thought the beginning was really intriguing, then came the sluggish middle, and my reading dramatically decreased. However, I think this would be perfect for fans of sweeping historical sagas who want to feel really entrenched in the era.