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Winter Sea, The Paperback – 24 Mar 2008

14 customer reviews

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Paperback, 24 Mar 2008
£19.38 £2.58

Please note that this book was previously published as Sophia's Secret, the content of both titles is the same.



Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ALLISON & BUSBY (24 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749079851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749079857
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 9.7 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,849,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write modern gothic novels that blend historical adventure and modern-day suspense with romance and a touch of something spooky, so they don't fit neatly into any category, really...but they're fun to write!

I live on the north shore of Lake Ontario, east of Toronto, in Canada.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Fraochale on 26 April 2008
Format: Paperback
This latest offering from Susanna Kearsley is a uniquely plotted tale of love and intrigue that spans history/time. Her dual story line reminds one of a "Barbara Erskine" novel, but Kearsley makes the plot all her own.

Historical author Carrie Mclelland travels to Scotland to visit her agent only to be lured by the solitary beauty of Slains Castle. When she finds her muse has taken on a new persona in the shape of a young women from her familial past, she finds a new direction for her work-in-progress in Scotland not France. As the story Carrie had intended to write unfolds in this new way she can't explain the hold the history of the area and the people has on her. What's even weirder she quickly learns (after the fact of writing it) that what she writes from her imagination has strong elements of the actual facts that are disclosed by those around her. Fearing she might be insane, she wonders if maybe this is genetic memory shared from her ancestor Sophia Paterson, the protagonist narrator of her book?

When she meets the Keith brothers she finds that maybe what is happening in the present is somehow linked with her ancestor of the past and until the final pages of her story are written she won't know her own future?

The book is so beautifully written the reader will feel they are right there on the northeast coast of Scotland; one can almost taste the salt-laced wind. She has created memorable characters both in the present and past that the reader will not want to let go once the last page is turned. Clearly she has done her research and it is wonderful to find a plot that isn't sunk in all the Jacobite romance of Culloden, but embraces a time period of Scottish history not often written about in fiction-1708.

I savored every page of the journey Carrie/Sophia made. A must read for those who like historical fiction with a unique twist linking present to past.
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Book Addict on 20 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have enjoyed previous books by Susanna Kearsley, and who would not?, be warned that the book entitled Sophia's Secret, to be published on 22.9.08 is the same book as the Winter Sea. I do wish authors would not allow publishers to do this!!!! It would avoid much disappointment for readers.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: It wasn't chance.

Bestselling author Carrie McClelland comes from France, where she is working on a book related to the 1708 attempted return of James Stewart to regain his throne. On the way to the christening of her friend and agent's baby, she takes a side road and is drawn to Slain Castle.

Deciding to move from France to Scotland, she rents a cottage new Slain and finds her connection to the old castle is closer even than her ancestor who once lived there.

This is not a gothic, time travel or a torrid romance. It is a flawlessly crafted novel set in two time periods with a romantic relationship in each. From the first page, I was immersed in the story. Kearsley's sense of place is evocative; I was with the characters in sight, sound and even smell.

Her characters became real to me. In the present day, Carrie is a wonderful protagonist; smart and independent, as is Sophie in the past. Surrounded by a strong group of supporting characters, I felt I could sit down and have a chat with any of them. The plot is so well done and flows beautifully between the two time periods.

Kearsley is an excellent writer. There is a lot of factual information in the story, but it is incorporated as part of the story and through dialogue; thus never taking you out of the story or causing you to question her facts. After the end of the story, she very clear about what liberties she did take, and those were few. The explanation used for the link from the present to the past was fascinating and one with which I was unfamiliar.

At the same time, there was nothing dry about this book; I did laugh, I did cry, at times, my heart beat a bit faster from suspense and romance and I absolutely loved the endings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judge Tabor on 1 Oct. 2014
Format: MP3 CD
This is my first Susanna Kearsley novel and perhaps her books just aren't a good fit for my reading pleasure. In The Winter Sea, Ms. Kearsley lays out a story about a young author, Carrie McClelland, who was in the process of writing a historical novel about some of her own ancestors. As she prepared her research and began writing the story, she found that due to her DNA, or for some reason that couldn't be explained, she actually had the memories of the primary character in her story - a young woman named Sophia Paterson who lived and loved in the early 1700's.

Because Sophia was of Scottish descent, she was, along with many Scots, caught up in the turbulence, intrigue and political machinations in France, England and Scotland as those in positions of power attempted to influence the outcome of who would be the ruler of England and Scotland. To Ms. Kearsley's credit, she has apparently done the research about the major and minor historical figures - both men and women, who played vital roles during this period in time.

My personal issues with the book have to do with the following: Although there was a minor romance taking place in the current day and time, and a major romance taking place in the early 1700's, neither romance was at all satisfying to this reader. In the current day romance between Carrie and Graham, although sweet, to me it was a very underdeveloped romance. For example, often a couple of weeks would go by without Carrie having any contact with Graham even though they were apparently falling hard and fast for one another. But, not even a telephone call - even when there was a misunderstanding between the two of them that could have derailed their budding romance.
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