On a day too hot to go outside and with no urgent chores waiting, what could be better than a tall iced coffee and a lush, fat historical novel? Kearsley’s The Winter Sea turned out to be the right book on the right day. Carrie McClelland goes to Scotland to research her latest book about the exiled Jacobites in the early 18th century and their attempts to regain the English crown for James Stewart. While there, her writer’s block not only dissolves, but the words start flowing as if a dam has broken. While pleased with how well her writing is going, she discovers she’s writing about real people and events she has no recollection of researching. She had named the narrator of the story Sophia, after an ancestor from her own family, but now it seems it’s Sophia’s real life story she’s telling.
Moving between the present and the early 1700’s, The Winter Sea sweeps the reader along both Carrie’s and Sophia’s paths as each navigates her life and the world around her.
Rich in the history of a period and a quest often overlooked, this book was a satisfying, entertaining, and magnetic reading experience. Suspend your skepticism about “ancestral memory,” put your feet up, and let the dust bunnies live another day – this book is worth it.