Thursday, July 28, 2011

"The Winter Sea" by Susanna Kearsley

Wow. This was an amazing book.

I don't think it's a secret that I love the Scottish time period surrounding the Jacobite Uprisings. After all, "Outlander" is my all-time favorite series. So I figured I'd enjoy this book, centered around the doomed '08 Jacobite Uprising.

The book is really two books in one. An author visits the castle Slains in Scotland to begin writing her book about a character involved in the '08. As she writes, she starts to have, for lack of a better work, waking dreams, dreams that allow her to write things that are uncannily real to the history. There's the book that centers around the author, her burgeoning romance with a local historian, and her struggle understanding how she could be having the same memories as her ancestor. Then there's the book about the '08, full on intrigue, betrayals, love, love lost, and all the details in between.

One of the things I loved about this book is it's the first book that succinctly and absolutely explained the '08, the Jacobites, the fight for the crown, and the switching of alliances to me. Anyone who reads historical novels knows how confusing keeping up with who's who can be. There are too many Henry's, Charles's, and Edward's, and the Duke of York is a title, not a person, as the title stays but the name continually changes. "The Winter Sea" did a fabulous job of explaining the '08 and the reasons behind it without bogging things down.

I must admit, I cried at the end, and I truly regretted closing the book when I was done. The hallmark of a 5-Star rating, for me, is missing the characters, and I am already missing them.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.


  1. Sounds interesting. This may be my very first history book. May I ask what period does this surround?

  2. Thanks for recommending this book. I have been looking for something "Scottish" to read while I wait for the last (sob! sob!)Outlander book. My husband knows that I have a HUGE crush on Jamie! I can't tell you the number of dreams I've had about him!! My family is of Scottish heritage. In fact, we named our son Iain (the Scottish spelling). I don't think anyone can write like Diana Gabaldon but I will definitely give this book a try. Historical fiction is my fav. Thanks!!


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