The Winter Sea Book Review

Achingly romantic, part historical fiction, this story sweeps both reader and characters away to another time and place.

Reviewed by: Steph Huddleston

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Genre: Historical fiction, Romance, Adult fiction

Publication date: 29th September 2021


What is The Winter Sea about? Well, with an endorsement from the queen of Scottish historical fiction romance on the cover readers are in for a treat. In the present day, writer Carrie McClelland has journeyed to Scotland to finish her latest book. Drawn in by the wild ruins of Slains Castle, she soon discovers that there’s more to this tale than she first expected. 1707: Sophia Paterson has arrived at Slains castle during a Jacobian plot. Soon she find herself swept away in the rebellion, but also in the arms of a handsome rebel.

It becomes evident to Carrie as she writes, that perhaps her book contains more fact than fiction. Is it possible that the events of her book aren’t just a story, but pulled from her memories? At the rugged and beautiful Slains, both Sophia and Carrie will discover romance, betrayal and a sense of belonging they never expected.

What we liked about The Winter Sea

The Winter Sea is a gorgeous book, that will make you desperate to pack your suitcase and head for the highlands. Kearsley’s descriptions of Slains, Scotland and its people are beautifully written and capture the senses.

Written in first person for Carrie’s chapters and timeline, and third for Sophia’s, the result is a deeply engaging read that leaves no confusion as to what timeframe the story is focusing on.

When it comes to that story, prepare yourself for an achingly romantic dynamic, in both present-day and 1707. Carrie is a character who quickly endears herself to readers for the way she both discovers and reveals Sophia’s story alongside us.

The Winter Sea is perfect for

Readers who want to be captivated by setting and characters. If you’re dreaming of your Scottish escape or a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, this is one to pick up.

While the premise is a little meta, the story does captivate, intrigue and break your heart all at once. Some readers may not like that the book contains two intertwining stories, but fans of the time travel genre will likely find much to enjoy about this tale.

Pick up a copy of this book online or in-store.