Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
Enjoyable listen of a war that I knew nothing about . . . and a people that I have always found very interesting. I love historical fiction that teaches me much about the past, while weaving a wonderful tale . . . I find pure facts of war and the like much too dry for my liking . . . and of course, being an army wife myself, and mother of two soldiers who have actually been through war . . . I am well aware that wars ALWAYS have a story . . . The Winter Sea is a sweet and at the same time painful story of the war between Scotland and England that I never knew existed.
I just Love the Allure of a Great Romance...a Pair of Rose Colored Glasses...some Fine Wine, and a Subscription to Audible...
The Winter Sea has now become one of my favorite books of all time, ranking right up there with Jane Austen. The characters are so special, and the reader develops a relationship with each as their tale unfolds. I found myself captivated.
I loved the two stories: the narrator's, and then the historical characters in which the narrator wrote, and felt involved with each, respectively. I must say, that the ending took me by surprise, and I am so happy with the direction and fashion the author, Susanna Kearsley, brought the stories to each conclusion.
I wept...not teared up, but actually wept at a couple of parts. Interestingly, I usually avoid anything that will evoke that kind of emotion, as I always prefer to "have fun", but, this story was gripping and moved me from the beginning. It was worth the cry.
I highly recommend this book to anyone. Enjoy!
Science writer in America's heartland
This book surprised me. I bought it largely to hear the author's descriptions of Scotland and the sea -- and they are beautifully crafted -- but the plot-within-a-plot immediately captured me. As a writer, I wondered if I could enjoy a book about a writer writing a book. The answer in this case is a resounding yes.
I absolutely loved this book and have listened to it at least 4 times. I love both the story and the narrator. The combination of history and sweet romance make it a winner with me.
Avid Reader in Iowa
creative and artistic
I loved this book--with the modern and historical twist. I thought it was similar in style to Lauren Willig a fantastic author. I think anyone who enjoys Scottish history would enjoy this.
This story has it all! History, mystery, love, deceit, etc. Especially entertaining was the fact that there were actually 2 stories going on. One surrounding the main character (who was an author) and the other around the historical novel she was writing. Two thumbs up!
I almost didn't choose this book because of the narrator. In the other books I've listened to that she's narrated, her voice has been cool and distant, and the subject matter dreary. But I was intrigued by the plot of The Winter Sea, so I took a chance. I'm so glad I did! I have completely changed my mind about Rosalyn Landor's narration. She had a difficult task in this book - multiple characters of both genders from two different time periods, speaking with Canadian, modern Scots, older Scots, Scots Doric, and even French accents - and she got them all dead on as far as I was concerned. She made each of the characters come alive, and it was one of the few times I've actually teared up while listening to a book.
The book itself was very well-written and seems to have been well-researched. I had a quibble with events that occurred in a couple of places, but I won't mention them here - it's possible I missed a detail each time that made them more credible. And take note the sex is definitely PG - there is sex, but it is not described, only implied. But it in no way takes away from the love stories between the characters - you still feel the full impact of their love for each other.
I really, really enjoyed this experience - and will probably listen to it again in the future!
Kearsley hits the ball out of the park. The best "time fiction" is seamless and believable; this is it and more. I've spent time in Scotland and she nailed her Scottish, present day characters and her other "Character:" Scotland itself, past and present.
I'm a voracious audiobook listener, rarely found without my iPod.
I was very excited to read this book with all the fanfare it's been receiving, but was a little nervous it would be too much of a romance. I love historical fiction, and as the main character states of her own work, they usually end with a kiss, but I don't like it to lean too heavily on the romance. The story is very formulaic, so there really are no surprises for the majority of the book. But the end is clever and has a tiny bit of a twist that may catch you by surprise. On the whole, the story is very well done. Character development and like-ability are great. The jump between present and past is done very well. I would have liked to have more of the set-up of past story told through the eyes of Sophia, where the author uses a history buff in the present to explain some of the timeline. I found it difficult to nail where exactly the family and castle history fit into the overall history between Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobite unrest, but it does become clearer toward the end. Very well done! Will definitely download The Rose Garden.
I just finished listening to yet another work of historical fiction, Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea, about the failed Jacobite rebellion of 1708 (charmingly read by Rosalyn Landor, whose Scottish and American accents are very convincing). This book, not QUITE such a bodice ripper as those of Diana Gabaldon–well, bodices are ripped but not in such riotous detail and on so many occasions–is filled with fascinating details of absolutely terrible times. How the Jacobites persevere again and again, and fail again and again–whether due to malign fate, foreign plots, or simple ineptitude–does make for a gripping yarn. Part of the plot rests on our heroine’s having lost her parents to the Darien Disaster–the ghastly expedition to Darien, in Panama–a catastrophic failure which not only cost over 2000 lives but which bankrupted most of the Scottish nobles. Well known, I’m sure, in Scotland, but completely unknown to me.
The story is pleasing, the plot interesting–AND it manages to end happy by means of a truly ridiculous plot twist, which I appreciate.
And meanwhile,WHAT IS IT with these Scottish dreamboats, gracious me! This book has THREE of them–2 modern brothers (one more beautiful than the other), and the historical bloke, with all those muscles, those piercing eyes, and that gentle grace.
Then there is of course Gabaldon’s gorgeous Jamie, soon to be gracing the silver screen.
Quote: “I talk to you as I talk to my own soul,” he said, turning me to face him. He reached up and cupped my cheek, fingers light on my temple. “And Sassenach,” he whispered, “Your face is my heart.”
Still, I’ll admit I read two of the books. My husband and my brother read more. They are not ill written, there is often interesting historical detail, and, there is a LOT of sex in them.
But really, the king of these adorable Scotsmen is Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond–the astonishingly beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, learned, musical, agile and muscular hero, who also speaks many languages and has an excellent understanding of mathematics– oh my! The happy hours I spent, entranced, listening to this gorgeous story! I still remember the terrible let down, as I was walking up from the subway to Friendship Heights, and hearing those grim words, “The End”. Sigh.