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Monday, October 3, 2022

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

I finished The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley today and wow, I loved it. It was first published in 2008, but I only read about it recently, on one of your blogs, and I'm so glad I did!

This is a book that weaves together two stories, one during the early 1700s during the early stages of the Jacobite rebellion and the other in present day Scotland. The descriptions of the scenery and the weather could not be any more evocative and made me long to live there.

Slains Castle, Aberdeen, Scotland - it's a real place!

Without revealing too much, I will say that this is a little different than the time travel in Outlander but has the same appeal for me. Instead of actual travel, it deals with the ancestral memories of Carrie, a successful historical fiction writer who is visiting Scotland. She decides to relocate there to jump start her next book. While staying in a quaint cottage near the remains of Slains Castle, Carrie finds herself compelled to write, as the story comes alive through the heroine, Sophia, who lived for awhile in Slains Castle. The intimate details of the story seem to spill out of Carrie, and after researching, she finds that the words she has typed are actual facts, including the names she has given her characters.

There is gentle romance in both time timelines, but fortunately no intimate scenes. (I'm no prude, but I don't need to read details about it, I like to use my imagination.) I have to admit, I tend to skim through the history to get to the "real" story, but Kearsley's characters' careful conversations about the politics of the period are rich and entertaining. And there is a very unexpected twist, which I did not see coming!

This book is the first in a series, so I will definitely get the next one, The Firebird!

I am linking to Kathryn's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


  1. Rebel with a Clause by Ellen Jovin -
    I'm a complete grammar nerd, so this sort of book makes me laugh.

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Winter Sea - it is definitely one of my favorites that I've read this year. Kearsley's "The Firebird" picks up a story after The Winter Sea. While I didn't like it as much as The Winter Sea, I'm glad I read it. There's a third in the Slains series, which I didn't realize. I also read A Desperate Fortune and thoroughly enjoyed it.


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