Sophia’s Secret by Susanna Kearsley

Susanna Kearsley is a new author to me and I am so glad that I found her! I read a review of one of her other books on the Historical Tapestry blog and decided that I needed to give her books a go and so, without further ado I ordered a couple up from my library. 

The book is about Carrie McClelland, an author of historical fiction. Carrie is writing a book about an 18th century Scot called Hooke and by chance happens to visit the ruins of Slains Castle in Scotland. She feels drawn to the area and the story that she has been struggling to write suddenly becomes vividly alive in Carrie's mind. Carrie takes a cottage in the area and sets about reworking the ideas of her novel, indeed she seems to have little choice in the matter as her characters dictate the course of events in her mind. There are two threads running through the book – that of Carrie writing the book and the actual story of the book that she is writing which happens to be about the little noted Scottish rebellion of 1708, the heroine of that part of the book being the Sophia of the title. 

This is the blurb from the back of the book…

"When bestselling author Carrie McClelland visits the windswept ruins of Slains Caslte, she is enchanted by the stark and beautiful Scottish landscape. The area is strangely familiar to her but she puts aside her faint sense of unease to begin her new novel, using the castle as her setting, and one of her own ancestors, Sophia, as her heroine. Then Carrie realises her writing is taking on a life of its own and the lines between fact and fiction become increasingly blurred.

As Sophia's memories draw Carrie more deeply into the intrigue of 1708, she discovers a captivating love story lost in time."

I've read several books where the main character is somehow 'connected' to past events or comes under their influence and I was curious to see how this element would be dealt with – hoping that it wouldn't be in a way that had been 'done before' so to speak. I was not disappointed. Had it not been for the fact that life must go on I doubt that I would have set this book down at all without reading all the way through. I found both parts of the story thoroughly captivating and was in need of tissues in a couple of places. This is one of those books where the characters remain with you long after you have finished reading the novel.  I have already begun reading my second Susanna Kearsley novel and look forward to reading more in the future.


This is my fifth review for the Historical Reading Challenge.

This entry was posted in Books, Historical Reading Challenge 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sophia’s Secret by Susanna Kearsley

  1. simone says:

    Thank you for the great review! It gives me the feeling I should try this book.

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