The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley


Once again I felt that sense of something settling round me like a shawl around my shoulders, as though I’d found a place where I could rest, and be at home… And while I watched the fire I felt the writer’s trance take hold of me. I seemed to see, again, the dying fire within that castle chamber, and to hear the man’s voice saying, at my back, ‘We will have warmth enough’ I needed nothing more. I firmly closed the Aga’s door, and taking up my coffee went to set up my computer. If my characters were in a mood to speak to me, the least that I could do was to find out what they had to say.


Where to buy it: QBD the bookshop, paperback $27.99

When can I get my hands on it: Now!

What can I expect: Scotland, history, Jacobite, writing, past lives, channeling, romance

I discovered this little gem when I came across an article that listed books like the wonderful and additive Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. There were a few on the list, but The Winter Sea seemed to stand out for me. It had been written years ago (2008) and been kicking around for ages. As I was between books I hastened to the library to grab myself a copy and I was delighted to discover that I could not put this book down!

Carrie, a novelist, decides to rent a cottage in this little coastal town of Scotland because she has been trying to research and write a book about the Jacobite uprising in 1708.

Taking a break from her writing, Carrie then goes to Scotland to visit her friend and editor who lives near Slains castle in Cruden Bay, which once was a fully functional castle around the time of the Jacobite uprising and the era that Carrie is researching for her novel. Upon entering Cruden Bay Carrie gets a shiver down her shine and a sense of excitement that this is the place where she will get inspiration for her book. Promptly finding a cottage in Cruden Bay and settling in, she feels like she has returned home and that she is in the perfect place to commence her novel.

Carrie soon finds that the writing flows freely from her imagination to the paper. She is surprised and delighted that she is moving along on her project so quickly. Although, soon enough Carrie discovers that it might not just be her imagination that is helping her along, but in fact, an ancestor that had lived in 1708 at Slains castle is channeling her story through Carrie. Carrie relents to her ancestor’s ‘channeling’ and writes the adventures of Sophia in record time, meanwhile Carrie is having her own adventures herself as art imitates life…

I really can’t tell you exactly why this book engrossed me the way it did. Maybe at the time of reading this, I needed this type of story, the simple and cozy romantic story that hugs you while you are reading. I love reading about the Scottish countryside and history and the fact the main character is a writer is a definite sell for me. The Winter Sea was a thoroughly enjoyable read despite some of the writing being a bit repetitive and the plotline jumping back and forth from Carrie’s time to Sophia’s lacking in depth. But these annoyances hasn’t deterred me from organizing to have more of her books come my way so I can read myself through her collection.


Amy xx


One Comment Add yours

  1. Susanna Kearsley’s books are so great, they’re brilliant when you just want to have a light read 🙂 Great review.


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