In the early 1900s, the playwright Galeazzo D’Ascanio lived for Celia Sands. She was his muse and the inspiration for his most stunning and original play. But the night before she was to take the stage, Celia disappeared. Now, decades later, Alessandro D’Ascanio is preparing to stage the first performance of his grandfather’s masterpiece. A promising young actress - who shares Celia Sands’ name, but not her blood - has agreed to star.
She is instantly drawn to the mysteries surrounding the play - and to her compelling, compassionate employer. And even though she knows she should let the past go, in her dreams it comes back.
©2012 Susanna Kearsley (P)2012 Oakhill Publishing
"Like something out of the pages of Daphne du Maurier." (Daily Express)
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. This story is superbly written and transports the listener to another world. Narration by Carolyn Bonnyman is supreme. I have now listened to all of Sussanna Kearsley's books and wish her latest book The Firebird was available in my country of Canada.
Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.
A writer's writer, Susanna Kearsley is a master at immersing her readers in the details of place, whether it be the coast of Scotland or northern Italy. The descriptions here of Venice and Lake Garda are spot on, and she always finds a way to seamlessly weave in local history, giving the contemporary scenes a sense of time and continuity. Which expertly sets the stage for her well-delineated characters. I also appreciate the measured pacing, so refreshing in this age of the sound bite. She's not in a hurry to tell her story, and I, for one, am never in a hurry to have her stories end. Season of Storms will remind you (in its fine sense of foreboding) of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.
Although I usually prefer Susana Kearsley's later books with stronger other-worldly elements, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. As usual, she paints incredibly vivid scenery and characters that feel like old friends.
Yes. I love Bonnyman's narration, the characters are intriguing, the story is at once romantic and mysterious. A most enjoyable story.
Since this novel takes place in the first person, I truly was engaged by Celia's inner thoughts. Bonnyman has a soft, winsome, and dreamy voice that gives encompasses Celia's self.
Both are excellent.
Celia Sands is my favorite.
Great narrator and story.
When Celia was stuck in the crypt. So scary. Since this happens at the end of the book you know something is coming, and I even had an idea, but still there were surprises, relieve and tragedy; where I didn't see it coming.
This isn't written like many of Ms. Kearsley's other books where time & characters overlap, but at times it seems as if it wants to go there (thankfully it doesn't). I say thankfully, because I very much liked the story and thought it was well conceived and written, and had it relied more on the ghost of Celia the first I am not sure I would have felt as strongly about the writing.
Celia is an actress (the story centers around people in this field) and she is named after a dead actress, so there is the creep factor because no one knows if the first Celia was murdered. Much more than this is really going on, but the mystery adds to the plot and doesn't cloud or detract from relationships.
This is a comfortable story, no real tension, and it's strength is in the dynamics between characters; so I'd say more of a drama.
But once again with this author's books, I find there continue to be issues with volume, and let me tell you it sucks!
I went into listening to this book with high expectations after enjoying Kearsley's other books so much, particularly The Rose Garden and Winter Sea. As has been noted by others, this book starts very slowly. The pics of momentum I never did find the storyline as gripping. Still it was an enjoyable listen. If you've not listen to other Kearsley books, I encourage you to do so whether or not you particularly enjoy this morning. Her prose is always excellent. She is a good writer!
I live for books. Audible makes my drives through LA traffic a pleasure.
I really enjoyed this story. I have read some reviews where listeners did not enjoy Carolyn Bonnyman as a narrator. I however love her voice. This is the second book I have listened to that was narrated by her and I feel she gave enhanced both of them. I am searching for other books narrated by her. As for the story itself I loved The characters I thought Dennis and Brian were amazing . Susanna did a great job with her settings. I could see Venice as I listened. Celia was very well written as she did behave like a 22-year-old placed in the situation that she was in. The relationship with her "fathers" it was a very good representation of the situation. I enjoyed all of the theater references, and just found the book absolutely charming. I have now listened to all but two of Susanna's books and so far have enjoyed everyone I am a fan
I love Susanna Kearey's other books - but this one cannot be compared. There is one interesting plot point that doesn't surface until hour 8 of the narration and then it disappears. Beyond that the narrator is much older than the 22-year-old she is supposed to be playing.
"Excellent book. I really enjoyed listening to it."
I have already recommended this book to many of my friends. It keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Some of Barbara Erskines book
I tried but it was taking too long I give up about 1am each morning
Looking forward to reading the next one.
I love books by this author and have listened to all the others available on audible, this one however I just couldn't get into. I restarted 4 times and each time found my mind wandering within minutes. I'm not sure if its the narrator although she has a pleasant enough voice, but I was just bored by the story and couldn't figure out what was happening. In the end I realised I just didn't care enough about the characters to continue and give up.
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