Regular price: $26.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Editorial Reviews

When venturing into the historical fiction genre, I’m often drawn to specific, brief events that were either glossed over or left entirely out of the history books, as opposed to those that cover broad subjects that can be densely overwhelming. Given a subject like Henry XIII and his wives or Joan of Arc, both popular subjects of the genre, an author could easily lose an audience to an overwhelming amount of explanation and facts. Instead, Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea offers a narrow, controlled exploration of a lesser known event, the 1708 Jacobite failed uprising by James Stewart against William of Orange and Mary Stewart to reclaim the throne. It is an enthralling story that makes the facts and descriptions of the people and places surrounding the uprising much more palatable and absorbing.

The Winter Sea also offers a unique narrative format. Main character and popular historical fiction novelist Carrie McClelland rents a cottage for the summer on the coast of Scotland, not far from Slain Castle (where she sets her story) and where the Jacobite uprising occurred centuries ago. Thus, The Winter Sea has two narratives: McClelland in present day Scotland, writing her novel; and McClelland’s novel, a work in progress detailing the Jacobite uprising in 1708 Scotland. Such a narrative format is fodder for narrator Rosalyn Landor, whose performance skillfully embodies the complex mind of a writer. Her voicing of Carrie is investigative, creative, imaginative, and discerning. Her deep, expressive tone allows her the versatility to voice the myriad supporting characters, both male and female, past and present. The dreamlike writing sequences of McClelland writing her novel really sing under Landor’s rendering. With Landor as a guide, it’s easy to lose yourself in The Winter Sea’s journey through Scotland and through history.

The Winter Sea confidently flourishes in the intrigue surrounding this political uprising, while also offering the accommodating narrative device of delivering the story through the mind of a writer. Kearsley and Landor together remind us that history does not have to get bogged down by the facts, but instead can be thrilling, suspenseful, and imaginative, especially when presented from a unique perspective. —Suzanne Day

Publisher's Summary

History has all but forgotten...

In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her...

Please note: This novel has also been published under a different title: Sophia's Secret.

Please note, this title is the original recording, which is now known as Sophia's Secret

©2010 Susanna Kearsley (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Romance, 2012
"Rosalyn Landor provides delightful Scottish accents for many of the characters Carrie meets inside and outside her novel....Landor adds a poetic edge to her storytelling while at the same time giving a dreamy aura to the historical side of the story." (Audiofile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,340
  • 4 Stars
    1,642
  • 3 Stars
    770
  • 2 Stars
    209
  • 1 Stars
    156

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,388
  • 4 Stars
    1,290
  • 3 Stars
    507
  • 2 Stars
    143
  • 1 Stars
    116

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,143
  • 4 Stars
    1,346
  • 3 Stars
    627
  • 2 Stars
    214
  • 1 Stars
    138
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dawn
  • Chesapeake Beach, MD United States
  • 02-13-14

Couldn't make it past chapter 6

The positive reviews written on this book made it sound so interesting. I just couldn't listen past chapter 6. It is rare for me to not finish a book. I was not at all interested in the boring details of how the author in the story writes the novel. The dialog between her and the other characters is boring. The lack of emotion in the relationships left me no desire to continue reading to see what happens. The historical fiction part of the story might have had promise but again the boring dialog between the characters and lack of emotion in their relationships left me not interested. I did not care for the narrator either. I found her to be dull and monotone.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Historical Romance, not Fiction

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Women who really like historical romance

Would you ever listen to anything by Susanna Kearsley again?

Probably not

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reader did her best with a disappointing book, but she sounds bored!

What character would you cut from The Winter Sea?

Most of them. Save the old guy who rents the cottage. At least he sounds real.

Any additional comments?

Nope.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • oheo
  • Port Townsend, Wa.
  • 05-30-13

fomulaic Harlequin Romance!!

What disappointed you about The Winter Sea?

It is difficult to write good first person narrative and Kearsley fails miserably at her attempt.

What was most disappointing about Susanna Kearsley’s story?

Most disappointing was the predictable formula and insultingly misplaced and misrepresented historical facts as she manipulated them into a formulaic romance novel. Also, her repeated use of similar descriptive terms and insertion of words such as Jacobite for effect rather than contextual significance.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The main narrator had a pleasant voice and it seems as if she was trying to put life into this boring tale. The male accents were the 'wee bit of fun' .The story developed so slowly that if the narrator matched the pace it would be post mortem!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

NO!!

Any additional comments?

Save your time and money. There are so many good books and so little time. A person who enjoys mindless twitter and fanciful gossip in the Harlequin Romance genre may love this book!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Susan
  • Laurel, United States Minor Outlying Islands
  • 05-16-13

Overly sentimental and predictable

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Though this was well read, and I particularly liked the scottish voices, the story is weak. It is overly sentimental and romanticized. I found I could predict the author's next words as they tended toward the cliche and the obvious.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Freddy and Fredricka by Mark Helprin.

Which scene was your favorite?

I quit part way through the second part as I was annoyed by the predictability of the authors lines.

Any additional comments?

This is easy to listen to and has a romantic appeal.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Trite, predictable romance novel.

Would you try another book from Susanna Kearsley and/or Rosalyn Landor?

I would not based upon this novel. It's more Harlequin romance than historical fiction. Why do these writers tell you everything they are doing?

Has The Winter Sea turned you off from other books in this genre?

I stopped reading this type of patronizing romance novel stuff in my teens. I could predict every scene with the first few words of each sentence. It's strictly formulaic and reeks of the type of fantastical romance which create wrongful expectations for women. Bad, bad, bad.

Would you be willing to try another one of Rosalyn Landor’s performances?

No.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • susan
  • York, ME, United States
  • 09-25-12

Couldn't do it, too much romance for me!

Though I love well written historical fiction and I'm sure the author did her homework here, this is more of a romance set in Scottish Highlands with dashing, chauvinistic men and women who need them. The main character sets herself up to be successful, strong and independent in present day so why does she have an alter ego, personality, past life - whatever that is anything but? Go for it if you like romance, skip it if you are looking for real historical fiction. The reading was okay but a bit breathy.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • LISA
  • perth, Australia
  • 09-13-11

A GREAT READ

THIS BOOK TAKES A LITTLE TIME TO GET INTO, BUT ONCE YOUR IN YOUR IN AND THE END IS WORTH WAITING FOR. I WOULD HAVE LIKED A LITTLE MORE WRITTEN ABOUT (CARRIES AND GRAHAMS RELATIONSHIP OR ROMANCE BUT THE ROMANCE OF THE BOOK SHE WAS WRITING WAS GREAT.
I HAVE READ ALL OF THE OVERLANDER SERIES AND I ADORE THEM - THIS BOOK IS NOT THE SAME AS THE OVERLANDER SERIES WHERE I FELT THE CHARACTERS BECOME LIKE PERSONAL FRIENDS BUT I FOUND IT VERY ENJOYABLE - I CHOSE THIS BOOK BECAUSE I HAVE LISTENED TO THE NARRATOR BEFORE AND I LIKE THE WAY SHE PRESENTS. AT FIRST SHE IS A LITTLE SLOW IN THIS ONE BUT PICKS UP AND IS MOST ENJOYABLE TO LISTEN TO. OVER ALL I REALLY DID ENJOY THIS BOOK - LAUGHED AND CRIED

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

sweet story

This story resonated with me for many reasons. I would love to visit Scotland, especially now. The reader is amazing. it was easy to think of an entire cast of individuals. I was awed by her talent.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Thought it would be better

I have read all the outlander books and other books based on other outlander fans recommendations and I thought this book would be a great short read. Overall the love story well both love stories felt hallow or lack of depth. The author is amazing at painting wonderful scenes with words. Good beach read but not a story to get lost in.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Love this book so much!

I’ve physically read the book and now listened to it twice and I cry every time. It’s a beautiful story, and so satisfying.