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Publisher's Summary

When best-selling author Carrie McClelland visits the stark and beautiful Slains Casle, she decides to use the castle as the setting for her new novel, and one of her own ancestors, Sophia, as her heroine. Then Carrie realises her writing is taking on a life of its own and the lines between fact and fiction become increasingly blurred. As Sophias' memories draw Carrie more deeply into the intrigue of 1708, she discovers a captivating love story lost in time. Please note this title was previously recorded as The Winter Sea
©2009 Susanna Kearsley; (P)2009 Oakhill Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A deeply-engaging romance and a compelling historical novel ... Susanna Kearsley has written a marvelous book." (Bernard Cornwell)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall

The Winter Sea

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Liane
  • Allambie Heights, Australia
  • 06-29-10

A great read

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely brilliant.

I so loved this story and these wonderful characters. This is one I will listen to again on time for it is that good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very Enjoyable 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynne
  • Gaven, Australia
  • 11-22-11

Waste of a Credit

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.

  • Overall
  • Robin
  • Victoria , British Columbia, Canada
  • 11-29-09

Ruined by the Narration

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.

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  • Story

great story

Would you listen to Sophia's Secret again? Why?

My only complaint about the story was the narrator. Her voice is so soft that it was very difficult at times to hear her. Other than that, I thought the book was excellent.

What three words best describe Carolyn Bonnyman’s performance?

she talks to softly. She was a wonderful voice, but too soft for the recording.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jennifer
  • fort nelson, BC, Canada
  • 10-11-11

Disliked Narrator

What did you like best about Sophia's Secret? What did you like least?

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.

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator.

Did Sophia's Secret inspire you to do anything?

No

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Judy
  • 01-02-10

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Antonia
  • 01-23-13

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carrie
  • 03-03-11

Really enjoyable

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jill Walker
  • 11-15-10

Loved it.

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Helen
  • 06-29-10

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-18-17

Truely beautiful!

This was such a joy to listen to, Carolyn Bonnyman narrated it beautifully with such feeling & passion, her deep chocolate soft voice lulled me into a trance & took me to the core of the story, (I was there!)

I loved it, it was emotional and heart warming, I loved how the story flipped from present day to a time long ago and intertwined between the two with ease & flow. Very well written, it captured my heart & I'm only sorry I have finished it now :( I will however be listening to more of Susanna Kearsleys novels & hopefully narrations by Carolyn Bonnyman :-)

I highly recommend this novel....enjoy!

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  • shona
  • 01-31-17

Brilliant

Would you consider the audio edition of Sophia's Secret to be better than the print version?

Not read the print version

Any additional comments?

Very disappointed to learn that the sequel was not on audio books

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  • jules
  • 07-01-16

Too slow

Unfortunately I didn't really enjoy this book because it was just too slow and very little happened.

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  • C. Fryklof
  • 03-27-16

Brilliant

Second book from this author and same reader for me. can't get enough! Romantic and happy with beautiful scenery, characters and story!

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  • Aileen
  • 02-19-16

Couldn't stop listening

What did you like most about Sophia's Secret?

Author has the ability to make you feel you are there. Great story, loved it, so much so, ordered another of her books

What other book might you compare Sophia's Secret to, and why?

Barbara Erskine's novels. A mixture of fiction and history

What about Carolyn Bonnyman’s performance did you like?

Her Scottish accents were very good.

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  • kaylene press
  • 05-26-17

loved it

i loved it could not put it down very good story
and very well read.