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Sophia's Secret Paperback – 22 Sep 2008
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'A deeply-engaging romance and a compelling historical novel ... Susanna Kearsley has written a marvellous book' BERNARD CORNWELL
Carolyn McClelland, a writer of historical novels, finds herself with a familiar enemy; writer's block. A change of scenery leads her, and her book, in a whole new direction. Writing about the attempted Jacobite invasion of 1707, Carolyn takes up residence in a cottage in Edinburgh. Inexplicably drawn to Slains Castle, and not so inexplicably drawn to the charming, but somehow familiar, Stuart Keith, Carolyn is soon writing with an unusual speed and imagery which leads her to wonder whether her 'fictional' character of Sophia is really so fictional after all. Carolyn soon realises that she is somehow channelling the memories of her distant relative and that her story has a life of its own.
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Readers that enjoy Barbara Erskine and Nicola cornicks time slip books will love this author. The firebird had some of the same characters and is a fabulous book too.
The result is the telling of both Sophia's experiences and also Carrie's in the present day. The switching from one time period to the other is seamless. Ms Kearsley really knows how to manage this method of storytelling to keep the reader's interest. Both stories have romance and intrigue, but it is the relating of Sophia's life that holds the most emotional suspense and surprises, whilst at the same time encompassing true historical facts.
In short, this is a history lesson, a double romance, a puzzle and a ghost story, woven skilfully together. The writing is excellent. It is tender, warm and haunting, yet true to its historical background. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. Something a little different like this deserves to be successful.
I'm so glad I chose Sophia's Secret to read next, and I found this book to be even better than The Rose Garden.
Again set in the 1700's it focuses around a young woman called Sophia, and in moderns times, with Carrie, an author who writes historical romances, who finds out that she has the genetic memories of Sophia.
Without giving anything away, this book is hauntingly beautiful. It's so romantic, but not at all gooey, and it had me in floods of tears at times. The settings are described thoroughly and whether in the past or present, you can feel that you are actually there. And then of course, there is Carrie and Sophia' handsome men. I'm definitely a Susanna Kearsley fan now, and have just downloaded Mariana, straight after finishing Sophia's Secret.
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I would recommend it to my friends.
And I wasn't disappointed with the ending.