(Thirteen in 2013} The Winter Sea


Somehow during the past month, in spite of the fact that my schedule was much busier than I had anticipated, I managed to actually finish a book just for fun. It might have helped that I got a little jump start and started reading at the end of September, when I was travelling over here. I read Susanna Kearsley's The Winter Sea, and I absolutely loved it. The book tells the story of an author who travels to Scotland to research her next novel, and set the story of that planned novel as a story within a story. Initially, I was a bit skeptical of this device, but it ended up working flawlessly. 
Carrie McClelland is an author who comes to the coast of Scotland to research a planned novel on an attempted Jacobite invasion in the early 1700s. While Carrie immediately gets wrapped up in a diverting love triangle, she also finds exactly the inspiration she was looking for, and begins writing her novel about a young woman named Sophie who comes to live at Slains Castle, where Jacobite sympathisers often gather. Sophie herself falls into a sweeping love story with one of the most important players in the planned Jacobite invasion.
As a historian, I particularly appreciated how meticulously researched the historical bits of the novel were. Kearsley's writing was fantastic, and truly made both stories come alive. There was a bit of a fantastical element to the novel, which isn't usually my favourite genre, but here it worked well, and made the neat conclusion of both the novel-within-the-novel and the story of the fictional author even better.
Have you ever read anything by Susanna Kearsley? I definitely want to read more!
xx

Past 13 in 2013 book picks: January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September
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