Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Visit To A Winter Sea (Newport, OR)

Boiler Bay, OR
The Winter Sea  Another great story by Susanna Kearsley.  Susanna is one of those extraordinary talented writers who is able to pull the reader into a different world of reality while bringing characters to life.  She also has an amazing gift of weaving, in a supernatural way, two different stories from the past and the present seamlessly together while giving the reader a history lesson.  I have learned quite a bit about Scotland's supporters of King James Stewart - the Jacobites.  At the end of this book, Susanna explains about her research and the liberties she took for the story.  I was able to find many of her 'past' characters' history online.
If she had a white dress on,
she would look like the book cover.
Depoe Bay

There are two main characters this time.  In the present is a historical fiction writer - Carolyn (Carrie) McClelland and in the past - Sophia is Carrie's main character based on her ancestor.  Carrie soon finds herself so caught up in Sophia's story that she has a hard time telling what is real and what she is making up for the story.  Sophia is living at the Slains Castle north of Edinburgh during the Jacobite uprisings to return their king to his throne in 1708.  There is intrigue, spies, and romance with a little supernatural to keep me turning the pages.  The characters are strong and in depth.  I like the way the women are portrayed as being thoughtful, strong, and aware of the political conditions they are living in at the time.  

I found photos of Slains Castle in Scotland.  I can see why this place is the center for this book.  I bet this castle has many stories.  If only the walls could talk, right?  I wish I had known about the castle when we were traveling through the U.K., I would have enjoyed exploring this area.
The Winter Sea's Slains Castle, Cruden Bay, Scotland
Slains Castle
source:  Pinterest
I had a hard time putting this book down.  When I did put the book down, I found myself thinking about the characters especially since we are on the coast right now.  
With all the descriptions of a winter sea, I could imagine Sophia or Carrie walking along the beaches.  Where there is sand for walking, of course.  When I took these photos, we had a storm coming in and as you can see....the waves were huge!  I can imagine instead of this modern day build, I can see a castle there....sitting a little closer to the cliff...
In the book, there is one story passed down through the family about finding a stone with a hole in it and wearing it around your neck to protect you from harm.  I found that story interesting and decided to see if I could find a stone with a hole in it.  Being in an area known for lava flow, they were not hard to find.  Finding a small enough one to put around a neck was a little harder.  I like the one on the left.  It is not smooth or round like the ones described in the book, but I think I'll keep that one.  I might hang it up on the wall with some ribbon.  It sort of looks like a turtle's head with a gaping mouth.  
I know that whenever I look at this stone I will remember Sophia and Carrie.  And it will remind me to be on the lookout for another book by Susanna Kearsley.  May she have many more books to write!
C.S. Lewis
Oh, I agree!  The bad part being that I don't get a single stitch done while I'm reading.  The good news being that I just found two of Susanna Kearsley's book on sale in  Yea!
Happy Quilting!


  1. Thanks for the great review. This sounds like a book to add to my want-list. I only wish that I was a faster reader!

  2. I have read her Shadowy Horses and have Mariana but haven't had time to read that one yet. I'm looking forward to, not sure when since I started back to school this week.

  3. Oh Boiler Bay looks magnificent with the waves crashing in. I love the sea. It helps put things into perspective. The castle looks magnificent. I love castles. It's now on my list when we visit that part of the world.


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