Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Susanna Kearsley - Season of Storms

In the early 1900s, in the elegant, isolated villa Il Piacere, the playwright Galeazzo D'Ascanio lived for Celia Sands. She was his muse and his mistress and the inspiration for his most stunning and original play. But the night before she was to take the stage in the leading role, Celia disappeared.
Now, decades later, in a theatre on the grounds of Il Piacere, Alessandro D'Ascanio is preparing to stage the first performance of his grandfather's masterpiece. A promising young actress--who shares Celia Sands' name, but not her blood--has agreed to star. She is instantly drawn to the mysteries surrounding the play--and to her compelling, compassionate employer.
And even though she knows she should let the past go, in the dark--in her dreams--it comes back.

Comment: This was the last book by this author I had to read. I know she has a couple more stories from the beginning of her career but those aren't as easily found as the most recent ones..maybe one day. Anyway, this was the last book and I'm glad I waited because it's truly beautiful and has all the plot elements in the correct doses to be remarkable.

This is the story of Celia Sands, she is a young actress, doing minor roles here and there, trying to make ends meet. She just lost her roommate, she doesn't know how to pay the rent in the future and her only consolation are her two dads, because her mother never cared for her unless it was a good part to play, so Celia was educated and raised by the gay couple that took care of her. One of her dads wants to retire and somehow Celia is told to accept an invitation to be in a play written decades ago by an Italian author who made the play to his mistress, actually named Celia Sands as well. This is part of the reason why Celia was invited but she proves her talent once there.
In the meantime, many characters are introduced, other actors and the grandson of the play writer, someone reserved but that draws Celia's eye from the start. But Celia is in to discover many things, not only about the play and the disappearance of the first Celia, but mainly about her own life.

Like I said, I was really happy with this novel. I think it was one of the author most successful ones, at least to the way I see things. I thought it had all the right amounts of elements to make this a good story. It has the intrigue, the mystery, the main story line, the drama, the incredible news and the romance. Whereas in some of her other books the romance was too short or too subtle that it didn't even seem important, in this case it's more along the lines of my favorite book of hers, where e do see a bit more romance developing. I loved this and I thought Celia's relationship with Alex was wonderful, still innocent and based on looks at first, but quite real in the end, and most certainly powerful in the epilogue.

The plot focuses around the play, many say it wasn't the same author who wrote this and other darker works, but throughout the book we see pieces of history saying it was indeed by D'Ascanio. The story starts from the arrival of the actors in Italy until the play is finished. There's some mystery in the middle, concerning the disappearance of Celia the first and what could have been her fate and also about the dealings of the D'Ascanio grandson and his selling of the palazzo where they are. I think there are many intrigue scenes and settings to fulfill the plot lovers. Of course, some personal questions are targeted here as well, and we learn a lot about the characters.
There are sad moments, beautiful moments and many things to be found out. I really loved every moment, except a little thing.

I'm really happy with this one, I think it's one of the author's best works, somehow, everything fit in place for me and the story worked pretty well. It's one of those books you can open any time and there are countless scenes to be marveled at.
Overall, an amazing book, I only hope future stories by this author will be as great!
Grade: 9/10

Note: Now that I've read all her published (and available) books, here is the list by order of my preferences:
The Shadowy Horses - not commented here
Season of Storms
Splendour Falls
Every Secret Thing
The Rose Garden
Named of the Dragon
The Firebird
Sophia's Secret

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