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The Winter Sea Paperback – December 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.; Reprint edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402241372
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402241376
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,072 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The story was deliciously romantic and the writing style matched the brooding, haunting tale very well. Definitely well worth reading!" - All About Romance

"Kearsley's novel is highly reminiscent of Barbara Erskine's Lady of Hay and Mary Stewart's works: evocative novels that lift readers straight into another time and place to smell the sea, feel the castle walls, see history and sense every emotion. These are marks of a fantastic storyteller. 4 1/2 Stars, Top Pick of the Month" - RT Book Reviews

"The rich history and the historical aspect of this novel made it a book that was hard to put down. " - The Romance Studio

"Skillful writing and research... Readers will not be disappointed in Sophia's enthralling story. Highly recommended." - Historical Novels Review

"Reading this book was pure magic. " - Queen of Happy Endings

"I loved The Winter Sea. It drew me in from the start and I found myself reading faster and faster just to find out what would happen next... " - Starting Fresh

"A creative tour de force... Brilliant!" - New York Journal of Books

"Scotland past and present comes vividly alive in this superior piece of historical fiction - the rugged countryside, salty sea air and rich heritage are the perfect setting for this tale of love, loss and destiny. " - Thoughts From Lady Tess

"This is historical fiction at its best!" - Library of Clean Reads

"Vivid... One of those books that you remember long after the last page has been turned." - Debbie's Book Bag

" A perfect blend of romance, real history and what if... " - At Home with a Good Book and the Cat

"A beautiful work of historical fiction ." - Rundpinne

"The Winter Sea is a beautiful story... It will transport you to another time and place. " - A Buckeye Girl Reads

"This book has everything: historical romance, contemporary romance, rebellion, tragedy. All the good stuff... A+ storytelling!" - Readin' and Dreamin'

"From the moment I picked up this novel I was intoxicated by the idea of finding not just a muse but true love by pure accident.. A book not to be missed." - Pencil Pushers and Ink Splotches

"An excellent "time-travel" story with alternating chapters set in modern time and in the past. I would definitely recommend this book to those who love an epic story rich in historical detail. " - In the Hammock

"A wonderful book to escape into for a couple of days with fabulous characters, and an engaging story." - In Spring it is the Dawn

"A well written, engaging historical novel with a dash of romance... it's a page turner. " - A Work in Progress

"Beautiful, clear writing, a believable storyline, adventure and romance." - Bookfoolery and Babble

"A breathtaking novel... Kearsley's writing style beautifully spells out the mood for this novel. " - Luxury Reading

"One of the most enchanting romance novels of the decade, The Winter Sea will find a home on everyone's bookshelf. " - Romance Fiction on

"Each page I devoured only made me want to read the next one and the next one... highly engaging. " - The Royal Reviews

"Absolutely phenomenal... A stunning, gorgeous and heart-wrenching tale. " - Psychotic State

"The Winter Sea was an emotionally poignant, gripping tale of adventure both in the past and the present with characters full of life, and conflicts that tug at the heart strings. A definite read!" - History Undressed

"If you are a fan of Mary Stewart and Barbara Erskine, this is a must for your bookcase." - Celtic Lady's Reviews

"What a gifted writer Ms. Kearsley is! This is one book that I wish had gone on... T" - Books by the Willow Tree

"This book had it all: romance, intrigue, mystery, historical fiction, kick-ass location, and a storyline that made me not want to put the book down." - Life in the Thumb

"A beautiful and engrossing story... The Winter Sea will appeal in spades to fans of Mary Stewart and Diana Gabaldon. " - Angieville

" I loved how the author wove the past and the present together as Carrie dreamed of the Jacobite invasion, finding inspiration for her novel, and then in her research discovered that her dreams were more than just dreams." - Let Them Read Books

"Marvelous and flawless... " - Read All Over Reviews

"Beautifully written... A book to be read carefully and savored." -

"The Winter Sea is one of those novels that a reader doesn't come across too often." - Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Susanna Kearsley's writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne Du Maurier, and Diana Gabaldon. Her books have been translated into several languages, selected for the Mystery Guild, condensed for Reader's Digest, and optioned for film. She lives in Canada near the shores of Lake Ontario.

More About the Author

I write modern gothic novels that blend historical adventure and modern-day suspense with romance and a touch of something spooky, so they don't fit neatly into any category, really...but they're fun to write!

I live on the north shore of Lake Ontario, east of Toronto, in Canada.

Customer Reviews

Once I started reading I couldn't put the book down!
Amazon Customer
Loved the ancestral history of the main character, who is an author writing a book about her ancestors, and how that story affects her life.
The story was beautifully written and the characters well developed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

645 of 658 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: It wasn't chance.

Bestselling author Carrie McClelland comes from France, where she is working on a book related to the 1708 attempted return of James Stewart to regain his throne. On the way to the christening of her friend and agent's baby, she takes a side road and is drawn to Slains Castle.

Deciding to move from France to Scotland, she rents a cottage near Slains and finds her connection to the old castle is closer even than her ancestor who once lived there.

This is not a gothic, time travel or a torrid romance. It is a flawlessly crafted novel set in two time periods with a romantic relationship in each. From the first page, I was immersed in the story. Kearsley's sense of place is evocative; I was with the characters in sight, sound and even smell.

Her characters became real to me. In the present day, Carrie is a wonderful protagonist; smart and independent, as is Sophie in the past. Surrounded by a strong group of supporting characters, I felt I could sit down and have a chat with any of them. The plot is so well done and flows beautifully between the two time periods.

Kearsley is an excellent writer. There is a lot of factual information in the story, but it is incorporated as part of the story and through dialogue; thus never taking you out of the story or causing you to question her facts. After the end of the story, she very clear about what liberties she did take, and those were few. The explanation used for the link from the present to the past was fascinating and one with which I was unfamiliar.

At the same time, there was nothing dry about this book; I did laugh, I did cry, at times, my heart beat a bit faster from suspense and romance and I absolutely loved the endings.
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157 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Catherine M. Lawler on January 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Winter Sea is wonderful. It is exactly the kind of historical fiction that I love reading. The story is about a writer in the present time who travels to Scotland and stays at a cottage in Cruden Bay (between Aberdeen and Edinburgh) near Slain Castle to research materials for her novel about the Jacobite uprising of 1708. (King James (Catholic) was exiled from the English throne to France when Mary and William became King and Queen (Mary was James' daughter) at the request of the English people. King James died in France in 1700, but his son James (aka The Pretender) with the help of the French King invaded Scotland to try to reclaim the crown.) This was the period of the first Jacobite uprising, historical materials for which are hard to come by, as there were many cover-ups, betrayals, etc. Ms. Kearsley gets better with each book she writes. I was reminded pleasantly of Lady Dorothy Dunnett's writing style in which fictional characters are interwoven with real people and events. This book was so much like Lady Dunnett's Checkmate, her six book of the Lymond Chronicles, except that Kearsley is so much easier to read. I loved this book.
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232 of 251 people found the following review helpful By Diana F. Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Susanna Kearsley's "The Winter Sea," is a darn good read. From the opening pages, her words flow like that of an old friend, lulling the reader into a comfortable sense of satisfaction that has one wishing that as the pages turn, more pages will mysteriously appear to allow this particular treat to be savored longer.

In the great romantic/suspense tradition of Mary Stewart--who in my opinion retains the grand old dame seat for positioning her damsels in distress with the most literary language and in magical venues that act as characters while crafting a plotline that withstands the test of time and achieves levels of sophistication and nuance that most of today's writers can't even fathom--Kearsley's heroine finds herself in an abnormal situation but not of the usual predictable formulaic fabrication. Like Stewart's ladies, she possesses intelligence and a degree of fierce tenacity that fits with the sensibilities of the 21st century yet the telling of her tale relies on subtlety to convey that extra oomph that propels this one beyond the ordinary overly sentimental romantic confection that lends to knowing the ending before even reaching the midpoint of its pages.

Instead of the usual potboiler revolving around murder, kidnapping or the plight of a helpless child, Kearsley manages to interject an element of the supernatural into each of her stories. "The Winter Sea" cleverly relies heavily on such a premise--in this case, genetic memory and uncontrolled yet compelling voices from the past--but with such a light and deft professional touch that the reader becomes more absorbed with rather than skeptical of a turn of events more akin to the horror anecdotes of Barbara Erskine than Stewart or Victoria Holt.
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81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By abcnest on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At my age, I'll just say over six decades, I have read a few books in my time. Some of my favorite books being, West With the Night, by Beryl Markham; Sena Jeter Nashlund's, Ahab's Wife, One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; The Red Tent, Cutting for Stone, The Help, Sarah's Key I could keep going but you can tell the kind of books I like from that sampling. Well I have never been so emotionally involved in a book like I was with Winter Sea. I can hardly find words to tell what a fantastic read this was. All I can say, and I do love to write myself, is that I wish I could tell a story the way Susanna Kearsley does!
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