Thursday, July 26, 2012

Susanna Kearsley - Sophia's Secret

History has all but forgotten the spring of 1708, when an invasion 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 can know the truth of what did happen all those years ago - a tale of love and loyalty...and ultimate betrayal.

Comment: Years ago I've read a book by this author and I loved it. It was The Shadowy Horses, a great romance. I don't even know why it took me so long to try something else but this was the time.
Sophia's Secret was first published as Winter Sea. After reading the book I understand the original title but I think the second is best suited simply because it's more obvious. The first one is a reference to something in the book, but I don't think it's such a pertinent detail.

The story is divided in two, the present and the past. In the present, Carrie is a writer of historical romances and her research takes her to Scotland to write a story set in 1708. But as long as she learns about that time and those who lived it, she starts having very vivid scenes from things and people from that time which leads her to think she might have an ancestral memory. This means she is the only person who can really know what happened all those years ago in precision. At the same time, her personal life changes too after she meets the owner of the cottage she is renting and his two sons.
I'd say there's a bigger percentage of historical scenes in the past, which explains the second title better. Personally I would have preferred to see more of the actual time scenes because for me they were more interesting, although i understand the fascination with the historical side. But I was really more curious about Carrie herself and her life.
All characters are very intriguing because there's always a certain sense of mystery around them, the author doesn't give us all at once and after reading the book there's still things we can't help but imagining, so this makes us intrigued but delighted too and it's like we know there's something else in there but despite not knowing, we still feel we've had enough. It's just that there's something else mysterious almost in our grasp...
The story is good too, like I said, personally the present is more interesting foe me, but the historical one is quite rich in details and sequence. We can see the author has done her research. The end of the historical part is unpredictable and I was very surprised although after reading it I can't imagine why I didn't think of it. The ending of the present part is more expected but still cute.
I recommend this to everyone who likes history and a sweet romance to balance the more precise parts of a book. It was very sweet.
I still prefer the first book by the author I've read, but I'm now determined to buy the rest and try them all.

1 comment:

  1. I've been meaning to read this one but I haven't got to it yet...