Beloved New York Times best-selling author Susanna Kearsley delivers a riveting novel that deftly intertwines the tales of two women, divided by centuries and forever changed by a clash of love and fate.
For nearly 300 years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has kept its secrets. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas travels to Paris to crack the cipher.
Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing - for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.
As Mary's gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to her, Sara faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew - about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women are united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the unlikely coincidences of fate.
©2015 Susanna Kearsley (P)2015 Audible Inc.
As kindly as possible, I would like to suggest the listener to turn the low and the treble off. The reason being Katherine, the narrator, in all respect for her art and hard work, reflects the chance she may have a full time tour guide position when not recording audiobooks. It would be such a benefit to narrate in her normal voice for the main character and use very gentle accents for those characters not British. Perhaps she is trying to depict the main character as a high-strung person who also happens to have a touch of Asperger's Syndrome, as described in the book. Respectfully, the constant tension and effort in speaking, as if accustomed to speaking in a higher-than-normal pitch to be heard over a noisy crowd, makes listening to her a great annoyance and I will refrain from purchasing another book with her narration. It pains me to speak so, but it truly bothers me enough to have to write this in a review in an effort to help further decision-making. My apologies for any offense, which will probably occur; my advise is well-meant.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
I'm on a Scottish tangent right now... I read "Outlander" which was written beautifully and I enjoyed the history... but it was way too heavy on the romance for me. Then came "Winter Sea" by Kearsley, it was perfect and I loved the history in it. I snatched up "Desperate Fortune" expecting more of the same.
Honestly, I think the story was well written, the parallel lives of two women are woven together with one in the present decoding the journal of the one in the past... both experiencing similar situations. I loved the accurate historical fiction of the past part of it, but didn't like being snatched away from my favored past story and back into the present.
My complaint is with the narration. Katherine Kellgren is perfect in "The Royal Spyness" series where I envision the characters fitting the voices she uses. In this book I found myself flat out angry with her for ruining the story with prissy, forced and overdone voices. True the many characters, languages and accents in this book had to be challenging and she did settle down towards the end... but this is a book I would prefer to read rather than listen to again. So glad to have her out of my ear and wishing it was Davina Porter instead.
This book doesn't leave you dangling at a precipice, although it is clear there will be another journal to decode with the rest of the story of both women. It is a romance, but like "Winter Sea" it is light... definately a "chick lit" type of book.
I love Susanna Kearsley's work - but this title has been ruined by a very jarring narrator. I could not settle down and enjoy - had to shut it off. So disappointed.
I am halfway through - the story is engaging thus far. the narrator is clearly working hard - but there are several french characters - and her version of a french accent is so terrible that it makes it hard to focus on the story. I am giving up because I just can't listen anymore.
yes - i have really loved some of her books
Not sure - and for the record I would listen to this narrator again provided that she does not take on fake french and spanish accents that ring false in addition to her lovely english and scottish ones. She is a good narrator overall - but would be a much better storyteller if she kept it simple.
I am a huge fan of historical fiction and particular love the time period written in this story. I don't know exactly what the issue was; but, I had a hard time getting into this book.
The narration was horrible - melodramatic and almost comical attempts at dialogue and accent.
I love historical fiction, but this was nothing more than a "romance" novel with no real context and setting of the historical times nor for that matter any real plot. Nor was the characterization of someone with Asperger's believable. I have read this author before but this was a real disappointment.
The only reason I did not the story one star was that the writing was lyrical at times.
After all the endorsements and great reviews I found this less than as exciting as it was made out to be.
not memorable at all
Phil Giganti or Davina Porter.
I have read several of Ms Kearsley's novels and have enjoyed them very much. This story is enjoyable, and follows her usual formula with past intermingling with the present. That being said, I had a hard time getting invested with these characters. I had listened to half of the book, before I really cared about what was happening with any of them. I can't put a finger on it, other than there was quite a bit of rambling on and on at times, and Mary's adventure wasn't much of an adventure. Our modern day translator, Sarah, was also a rather dull character.
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