©2009 Susanna Kearsley; (P)2009 Oakhill Publishing Ltd
"A deeply-engaging romance and a compelling historical novel ... Susanna Kearsley has written a marvelous book." (Bernard Cornwell)
Why hasn't it been pointed out anywhere that this is the exact same book as The Winter Sea. I have purchased both and am very disappointed that I got one book for the price of two.
I already had bought 'The Winter Sea', which was an incredibly rich story, beautifully narrated. When I saw 'Sophia's Secret', I took the synopsis to mean that this was a sequel. I was really annoyed to find that this was exactly the same book - word for word, only by a different narrator. I could have used my credit for buying another gem-of-a-read.
Good story . Bad narration. It was like the narrator was whispering through and did not have character voices. It was very easy to get lost on who was speaking. Was very easy to fall asleep with the narrator being very monotone.
I disagree with the negative comment on the narration, I loved her voice. When she narrated the historical scenes involving Sophie I thought she had one of the best Scottish accents I've listened to; equally easy to listen to for men and women and when she used her own voice for Carrie I thought her timing and melody was mesmirizing. As far as the story it was a beautifully rendered tapestry of past and future where Carrie's memories pour into a lovely book. This could have been a unbelievable tale but instead was handled with ease and credibilty. The romances of both Sophie and Carrie were realistic and sweet, however this is no "bodice tearing" story, it is more a historical journey and its impact on the current day. A great read and well worth a listen.
I really enjoyed this audio book, both for the story which blended history and romance with a little mystery and fantasy, and also for the narrator.
I disagree with the other reviewer who did not enjoy the narration, although I understand that sort of thing is completely subjective so I can only express my own opinion. I thought the narrator was very engaging to listen to, but maybe that's because I am so partial to Scottish accents. She did a great job of the Doric accent, which is difficult to understand, let along speak if it's not your native tongue. (She's obviously Scottish herself) I had no trouble telling one character from another, even the men's accents didn't sound silly the way female narrators sometimes do when trying to deepen their voices. As for the main character's Canadian accent, being Canadian myself of Scottish descent, I thought she sounded very pleasant to listen, regardless of the occasional twinge of barely perceptible Scots in there, especially considering she was doing an East Coast Maritime accent, which is very different from Central or West Coast Canadians.
I loved the story as it wove back and forth between the current setting of the writer mysteriously drawn to Slains Castle while researching a book, which almost seems to write itself from her dreams, and the past - being the story she is trying to write that starts appearing more real than fiction. It has a satisfying conclusion, although I hated it to end. I listened to it too quickly as I could barely put my IPOD down until it was done.
I wish Audible had more of Susanna Kearsley's books available and I'd be very happy with them using the same narrator again.
This was a mildly entertaining book, completely ruined by the narration. I'm not sure if Carolyn Bonnyman is a Scot trying to put on a Canadian accent, or a North American trying to put on both a Scottish and Canadian east coast accent -- whatever she's attempting it is a mess. It's a shame because although it is light reading, the book seems to be well written and historically interesting.
"A well written story."
Being interested in family tree research was my original attraction to this story. It tuned out to be one of the most beautiful stories I have listened to. I found myself 'plugging in' frequently! I am not sure how authentic the Scottish accents were, but I found them acceptable. I enjoyed the mix of the historic and the modern romance as well as the historical data. I have no doubt that I shall listen to this story again.
"Pleasant but Ponderous"
Having enjoyed 'Rose Cottage' by Susanna Kearsley enormously I had great hopes for this book. You know what they say about great expectations? ... Carolyn Bonnyman was skilled at accents and has a lovely voice. However, the many characters and meandering plot made some characters harder to single out or let shine. The attention to detail within the story was such that sometimes I could only see the wood and not the trees or the path through them. The story within a story approach allows some self-reflection by the author on the writing of historical fiction. I found this gently witty and revealing, if also self-indulgent. As a journey between times this story covered less trodden ground and shared interesting views but spent a little too much time pondering over the map.
I just loved this story and was drawn into the drama and romance of both the past and present storylines. I was enjoying it so much I was quite happy to suspend disbelief over the contrivance of the inherited memories. The narrator is excellent at accents and it was beautifully read. I would like to hear more from this author.
I absolutely loved this story though it was a bit predictable at times. It kept me in thrall throughout though and I loved the historical context as well as the romance. I was rather interested in the Jacobite risings having listened to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and it was very interesting to hear of the earlier rising and the history surrounding it in this novel.
I loved this one!! Fascinating story, beautifully read by Carolyn Bonnyman, completely absorbing. Immediately bought another story by Susanna Kearsley who's fast becoming a favourite writer.
"If you like ships and history then this is for you"
I found this audio book rather hard work at times, and although I liked the narrators accents and voice I found the history and ships was not for me, but to be fair if you do like ships and historic battles all entwined with past and present love story's then you will enjoy it.
There was a moment when I wanted to give up on this book. But I did listen till the end and I am happy I did. The end has really a gorgeous twist :-))) Good job, Mrs. Kearsley!
"Enjoyable time warp novel."
Almost as good as Erskine. Enjoyable story with a wonderful twist at the end.Well developed characters.Amusing storyline. An easy to read gem.
"A lovely story"
I liked this timeslip style romance and would probably seek out the author's other work after a bit of a break. The narrator had a nice voice and seemed to have the correct Scots (Doric?) dialect for the story (the dialect was mentioned more than once in the story itself). The plot was a tiny bit unconvincing in parts, and you'll probably see the denouement coming a mile off, but it was a nice, easy listen. Perfect for plugging the ears while doing the housework.
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