Sunday, June 09, 2013

Review: Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (audio)

I got a copy of this book a while back - I think maybe it was an amazon kindle daily deal, or something like that. I'm also thinking it was a "if you liked Discovery of Witches" you'll like this. Whatever the case, I got it, but then kept putting off reading it.

I'm about to take a trip that includes a visit to Scotland, so I've been trying to read books set in Scotland (and the other places I'm planning to visit) to get me in the right mindset for my trip.

I ended up downloading a copy of this via audible - you get a special price if you already have the kindle version - and the plan was to just listen to it while doing some last minute yard work, housecleaning, tanning and whatever. But immediately, this story drew me in, and I found that I was avoiding other things so that I would have an excuse to listen to this. I did end up getting quite a bit of yard work done, and didn't bother me nearly as much as it usually does because I my mind was so immersed in this world. And a few times, I just laid down on the couch and listened, not doing any of those productive things I'd planned to do while listening.

I liked this story so much. It's so romantic, with a lush historical setting, as well as an interesting contemporary storyline. It's sort of a time travel story - but only in that the narrator can see into the past, she doesn't actually travel into the past. (I point that out because I don't usually like time travel stories.) It's also really sad, like at one point, as I was listening, I found myself sitting down in the yard, feeling overcome with sadness as what was happening to these characters. (I was working in the flower bed, it's not like I sat down in the middle of mowing the yard or something.)

I'm not the type of person who is usually curious about my ancestors. But my family claims to be Scottish, and this almost made me want to learn more about my own family background - though I doubt it's anywhere near as interesting as what the character discovered in the story.

Overall, this was a great book. The story reminded me a bit of Byatt's Possession. After having spent so much time listening to this book, I felt a little lost after it was over. Then I realized that Firebird is a sequel. Had no idea, but I got a copy of that book a few weeks ago, so I've started reading that now.

And I should add,  because this was the audio book, the narration by Rosalyn Landor is great.  There have been a few audio books that I think I disliked because I couldn't stand the sound of the narrator's voice.  But not the case with this book.  (Turns out she's narrated a couple of audio books that I really enjoy - Never Let Me Go and Water's Lovely.)

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