Book Club, Book reviews

The Winter Sea

This is my first read for my local book club.

The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley
Dec 1, 2010 – Fiction – 544 pages ★★★☆☆ 

I have noticed a pattern, I start off books very enthusiastically. Some stay that great, others, -like this-, fade a bit. I owe my friends Lisa and Jeanne an apology. I thought that, given the love for this type of books they have and their love for Scotland, it would be a wonderful read. I still think you would not be disappointed, but just know it’s in the Jamaica Inn (by Daphne du Maurier) category, only longer, -wink.

I consider this book a good B class book. The classics may have spoiled me, but at one point, it pained me to spend a full 544 pages on this book, while I have others in queue, specially my first pick for the

Glimpses of the Moon, by Edith Wharton
and with the Ambleside Online Forum Book Club,
Paradise Lost, by Milton
Without spoiling it for you, this book is set in our times. A writer goes to Scotland where she is from and where her agent lives, to gather inspiration for the book she is writing about the Jacobite plot to bring king James back to Scotland. The book thus has two narratives, the present, and the chapters of the book that happen in the past.
I enjoyed the plot, and the sweetness of the characters. Most of the people in the book are very likable. I did a mix of listening to it and reading, and I’m glad of that, for now I can hear the Scottish ring every time I took over the audio.
In all honesty, the book drags a bit. I don’t find her writing style particularly engaging, it felt as wearing house shoes. Nothing wrong with house shoes type of novels, but I like to go on dates with my reading, and be a bit more surprised. She could have simmered the book a bit longer, we did not need to be with those people forever and ever. However, I’m not going to leave the review in bad terms. Thanks, Susanna Kearsley, for introducing me to Sophie, Moray, Graham, James, Carrie, Jane, and for taking me to Cruden Bay (between Aberdeen and Edinburgh) near Slain Castle.
I’m seeing wonderful reviews at Amazon as I’m typing this, and as the Amazon page says, she is compared to Maurier and Gabaldon (which I have not read).  I like Maurier, but I thank her for keeping her books as to the point mysteries of a proportioned size.
I realize not all of us are at the same place as readers (simply meaning interests, goals, aspirations), that’s why this book was not fully loved, it ate up much of my reading time for what it gave me when I was reading it.
What I don’t regret about having read it, it’s that I will get to discuss it at our February get together, and it’s made me crave fish and chips. (I plan to take some to the book club date).

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