Sizzling Book Club Chat: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Book CoverTune in tonight at 9pm Eastern Time, when we’ll be discussing Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea – or, if you’re Canadian, Sophia’s Secret. I will have to remember to ask which title people liked better.

Either way, come on back at 9pm EST when the window below will be hopping with polls, mayhem, giveaways, and some really awesome book discussion. Seriously, I cannot tell you how much I love the book chats. I love hearing what you think of the books. Thank you to AllRomance for being the book club sponsor of excellentness.

See you tonight! Bring cocktails!



General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    Carrie S says:

    Ack!  I will miss most of it and I had so much to say that I typed a bunch of it up.  Here’s my notes:

    I liked this book but I wasn’t as swept up in it as I expected to be.  Here’s what I liked:  many great female characters, beautiful language and descriptions, very vivid sense of place.  I especially loved the little cottage with the coin operated heater!  to me the men stayed sort of shadowy and one dimensional although I liked the part where Carrie (hey, that’s me!) realized she was comfortable working in the same room with Graham – that was awesome.  Also I got a kick out of the moment when Carrie is asked if she likes the Doctor and she says “Yes” and on an unrelated note, “he gave me whiskey” and then realized the two sentences don’t sound unrelated at all.

    I’m not a big fan of books that switch often from one storyline to another (although tons of books do it, so I just put up with it).  With this book it made it really hard for me to get into either story.

    I also think it was hard to get into the story because even though both female main characters are really well written and admirable, they are both trapped in a role of constantly waiting for things to happen to them – Sophia doesn’t drive the revolution; she waits for news.  Carrie has to wait for her memories to come before she can write each new chapter.  I wanted them to be a little more proactive, although I wouldn’t say they are passive per se.

    I felt cheated that I didn’t get to see more of Sophia and Moray falling in love.

    Jane was the most obnoxious, invasive, dirty-minded person.  I couldn’t stand her.  It’s too bad because I was looking forward to a female friendship, and she could have made a nice contrast to the other, more passive, women.  Instead she was just this crazy, relationship-obsessed shrew.  Kirsty and the Countess were awesome, of course.

    I thought the brother triangle was annoying.  It irritated me that Carrie was mad when she thought that Graham was going to back off because his brother liked her – isn’t that, like, the code of brothers?  Shouldn’t Graham have talked to his brother and duked it out or whatever instead of skulking about so his brother had to figure it all out on his own.  I know Stuart wasn’t experiencing true love but it still seemed like a shitty way to treat your brother!

    I had really mixed feelings about Sophia leaving Anna, partly because the reason given for Sophia leaving Slain isn’t imminent danger, it’s that she thought being at Slain was painful.  But the thing is, Sophia still couldn’t acknowledge Anna, right?  She was still concealing her marriage for her own safety and that of Anna’s.  That means Anna would continue to be fostered for many more years, maybe forever, until Sophia gave into the temptation to take her back, which would cause Anna and her foster family horrible grief.  So under the circumstances I think Sophia did an incredibly brave thing to let her go.  But, I didn’t feel like the happy ending could be fully happy knowing that she would never see her daughter again.

    It would have been so much better without trying to present a mechanism for the memories.  No, you can’t carry memories in your DNA, because they are acquired as you go through life, and DNA can only carry traits carried from birth (although of course you could have a trait involving memory, like photographic memory, that could be an inborn trait).  It’s like eye color – you can be born with brown eyes or green eyes, but if you have green eyes and spend your whole life wearing brown colored contact lenses that won’t change your baby’s eye color.  I would have just accepted that something strange was happening but the pseudoscience took me right out of the story.

  2. 2

    Aw man, this’ll start while I’m on my way home from work! I’ll swing in if I can, though, since I did read this book before and quite enjoyed it—in fact, I bought a big ol’ brick of a paperback in Vancouver a couple years ago! Bought it again off of Kobo recently though so I could have an ebook copy. :D

  3. 3
    Hannah says:

    I probably won’t be able to make the chat either. Just curious as to whether other readers guessed about the circumstances behind Sophia’s second marriage to McClelland. Having read lots of Gothic romances, I guessed how this would play out early in the book.
    Sometimes I felt overwhelmed by all the details of the Jacobite invasion. Long narratives of historical /military events tend to make my eyes glaze over.
    I loved the cozy atmosphere of the book, both the present and historical settings.

  4. 4
    Mary says:

    Darn! I’m only 350 pages in and don’t want to read spoilers.

  5. 5
    Lillian says:

    YAY! This is after NCIS for me! I was going to re-read this, but got caught up in the other books that came, Splendour Falls and The Rose Garden. Then I read A Discovery of Witches, whose ending made me very upset.

  6. 6
    sweetsiouxsie says:

    I loved this book! I look forward to the chat…….

  7. 7
    Sadiana says:

    The chat was awesome to the max. Thanks to everyone for making it a wonderful first time for me. And being able to ask Susanna questions was amazing! See you next month!

  8. 8

    Thanks so much to everyone for making tonight’s chat so fun. Hope I didn’t miss anyone’s question…it was a challenge keeping up! It was a pleasure.

  9. 9
    Hannah says:

    I’m sorry I had to log off before Susanna Kearsley joined the chat but I enjoyed reading the transcript this morning.

  10. 10
    Bri says:

    missed the chat b/c i had to work but just read the transcirpt and have to say i agree with many of the comments and sentiments.  Love that there is going to be a sequel of sorts, and the the scenes when sophia was leaving Slains made me cry as well.  i was captured by Sophia’s story, not as much by carrie’s but still liked it.  and Moray was my favorite.  I guessed the final twist with him and with graham very early on but then was led to chagne my mind a few times based on how the story unfolded.  I love being kept on my toes!  :)

    i like both contemp and historical so the back and forth and the combination of the two was great and I will seek out more.  i’m also a history geek and have to say that the historical fiction was great.  Sometimes the history can get boring and heavy and it was totally the opposite in this one – it dragged you in, even when there was a lot of it, like when graham was speaking with stuart and carrei at dinner. It was accessible and interesting and made you want to keep reading.  thanks for that Susanna!

    as to where it was located in the stores, I found it in general fiction and the back of my book has it categorized as historical fiction.  i can understnad why it would not be catalogued as romance b/c I think it is so much more than a romance and will pull more than just the romance audience.  :)

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