I'm not a huge fan of romance novels but I like historical fiction and this book gave me both in good measure. The reader was superb in speaking with an authentic Scottish accent that is so much a part of the Scottish experience. And the female lead was intelligent, thoughtful, resourceful, and discerning - all good qualities that enhance a love story. Thank goodness the male characters were presented in mostly the same fashion, not an idiot among them! I don't think anyone who enjoys a good love story would be disappointed in purchasing this book.
I love books!
Set in NE Scotalnd in the early 1700's, the author wrote the story in a different kind of way. She went in present day to Petershead where the Slains castle ruins still stand. She rented a cottage in the town and imagined herself as to how it would have been 300 years ago going from prersent to past. She pulled it off. Throw ini the story of the Scots against each other, throw in the English and Friench, a little romance and it had the makings of a good tale. Not a thriller at all it still kept my attention, I enjoyed it.
I got this on impulse when the promo suggested it was like Gabaldon. I was seeking something simple, easy and light that would be pleasant to listen to and require little concentration. This fit the bill perfectly. The Scottish settings, accents and characters, the mysterious and tantalizing knowledge of the author's ancestor's life, and the story-line about the Jacobites was very nice, indeed. There was no time-travel, and no iconic male like Jamie, but it was a nice enough listen. I didn't care for the tones of voice the narrator selected for the characters but the overall effect wasn't bad enough to be distracting.
Avid reader and listener, I enjoy history, popular science, suspense and legal thrillers with a dash of epic fantasy thrown in for flavor.
The story is relatively well crafted, holding an inner coherence. However, this book was suggested as an "Outlander" equivalent, which sadly, it's not....
Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken
A gentle romance with some delightful characters in an atmospheric setting on the fog-bound Scottish coast. Aside from the usual boy/girl stuff, there are some nice family interactions on display. Enjoyed the narrator's Scots dialect.
I love clean books of all sorts. Love mysteries, fantasies epic to kids stories, fairy tales, romances, humor, and historical fiction
The worlds that this writer tells of, the past and present are so real and woven together lovingly. The descriptions were so vivid, I felt I could just have walked into them and seen everything they saw. Beautifully written! Romantic, but not trashy. She had me crying and laughing! This is a very moving tale that though dramatic and tragic in parts has a truly joyful ending. I loved it. I particularly enjoyed the family history tie in. I haven't read much historical fiction. I prefer fantasy and adventure stories. I do love mysteries and romances without smut. This has a bit of mystery, a good dose of romance and plenty of history woven in. I am definitely recommending that my mother read this next. She will love it, so will my daughter and my sister. This one is a keeper.
Just a book fool.
Winter Sea is well written and very much a Historical Fiction. I liked this book but really only liked it. The story really drags... I would say in the middle but actually it feels like it drags the whole time.
The ending was great even though you are convinced the whole time you are not going to like it. I implore you to read this book if for no other reason then it is a prerequisite for Firebird by Susanna Kearsley and Firebird is amazing.
All in all Winter Sea is a good passer of time, has a great narrator, and is a MUST read series so far!
I seem to remember reading a review here or there which indicated that people who love Diana Gabaldon's work will love this book too. I agree with this statement, but I also feel it does this book a disservice.
Yes, it is about the Scottish resistance to the Hanover dynasty, beginning in the 18th century. And it features a beautiful young damsel and handsome Scottish rebel. But in my opinion, that is basically where the comparison ends.
Kearsley has given us, basically, two novels in one; and there is no time-traveling involved. Her modern-day protagonist is an American novelist with Scottish ancestry who moves to a Scottish village near the sea and falls in love with a 'local'. The historical plot is about a young 18th century woman who has lost her nuclear family and moves in with relatives who live in a castle/manor house close to the same village that features in the modern plot.
These two timelines connect during the novelist's dreamstates. And, since she is a writer, the dreamstates become the source of her new novel. In addition to her artistic interest she soon finds that, since her father is a history/geneology buff, they can combine interests by sharing information - each researching the same material on opposite sides of the Atlantic . The two of them sort out the lost details of the young couple's romance. By doing this, they also end up connecting the dots to their own ancestry. (All while the protagonist is also trying to sort out a tricky familial relationship concerning her lover.)
I really love this story. It is moving, well-written and engaging. As a writer, I enjoyed her portrayal of the various ways authors can approach their craft.
The only thing that bothered me had to do with the narrator. I know that the modern protagonist is a woman in her 30's, and so have no problem with the mature voice given her. But I felt that the way she used her voice when mentioning her prurient interest in the man who becomes the character's lover is overplayed. To me, that type of tone is more realistic when used by a male character. The protagonist is a feminine intellectual with heightened sensitivies. Hearing her description of a man's physical attractions in what I would almost call a 'predatory' tone of voice adds a "smarminess" which I find at odds to her character. I think she should have played those lines straight. They would have been more powerful. (Come to think of it, I'd find it smarmy if used by a male character.)
But otherwise, the narrator does a beautiful job. I am always amazed at how female narrators are able to recreate a variety of male voices. Plus, her ability to switch from one accent to another is so natural that I only thought about it in retrospect - after I read the book and was allowing the phrasing of this review mix in the "soup" of my subconscious.
So don't compare it to Outlander and you will love it.
The descriptions say this this book is historical fiction, which I love. Instead, it's a thinly disguised romance novel, not much removed from a standard bodice ripper. After about 3 hours, I couldn't take it anymore and stopped listening. There were two others reasons to stop listening: the narration and the slow movement of the plot.
The narrator does her best to duplicate a heavy Scottish brogue, to the point where most of the dialogue spoken by the father/landlord is unintelligible. While her efforts are perhaps laudable, they were extremely annoying to the ear and deprived the listener of the benefit of the character's observations.
And it's really a slow book. After 3 hours something should happen to pique the listener's interest. It didn't.
Generally, I try to finish books, if for no other reason than the purchase itself. Not this one. It fell off my iPod as comfortably as an ill-fitting pair of jeans.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect of this book. The cover intrigued me, it was set in Scotland, and the present day main character is a writer of historical fiction, so I thought I'd give it a try. In the end, it was just OK--a bit too heavy on the romance for my taste. The novel centers around a young, successful writer who has gone to Scotland to do research for a new book that will be based on the life on one of her ancestors. Set in the 18th century and focused on the efforts to bring the Stuarts back to the throne of England, the novel shaped some of the more interesting chapters. The modern-day story involves two handsome Scottish brothers who both are attracted to Carrie, the writer. This I could definitely have done without, and I thought the concept of Carrie channeling the memories of her ancestor was also a bit of a stretch.
I doubt that I will be looking for more novels by this author.
The reader wasn't bad, although she laid it on pretty thick when speaking in the voice of Scottish men.