So You Want to Read… is a new monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂
For this month’s So You Want to Read… I’m going to be featuring books by Susanna Kearsley. I honestly never thought I’d be putting together a list like this by her if only because I never thought I’d get around to reading her backlist! However I finally got around to reading a good number of her books sitting on my TBR pile–including a re-read!–in the past year so I thought things were looking pretty good to put together a list like this 😉
If you’re a big fan of authors like Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley, and Diana Gabaldon, you’ll like Susanna Kearsley’s books that blend of mysteries from the past, fantastic locations, lots of history, great cast of characters, a good romance to boot, and a bit of time slip depending on the book. My personal experience has been that it took a few of her books for me to get into her novels, if only because I hadn’t read many books featuring time slip before. But I’ve read enough now to say that I really like her books and do keep a lookout for the other books I either haven’t read or are upcoming 😉 So without further ado, here’s the titles by her that I’d recommend if you’re thinking of checking out her works:
- The Winter Sea (review) — Definitely one of those books that left me sitting and thinking “Why didn’t I read this book sooner?!” lol. Sometimes books featuring a dual storyline–one set in the past and one set in the present–can feel a little uneven, usually with one storyline being far more interesting than the other, but with this book I thought the balance was perfect. All of the characters were all fantastic (I loved all of the interactions), the love stories were wonderful, and it really felt like you were at Slains overlooking the sea. I cannot recommend this book enough as a starting point for her works. And of course after reading this book you have to read the follow-up, The Firebird (review) 🙂
- Season of Storms (review) — I mentioned this in my review but I could not put this book down once I started reading it. It’s a bit different from her other books in that there isn’t a paranormal element involved really (no time slips or characters with some latent psychic ability to connect to the past with), but the dual storylines were nonetheless interesting and do intersect over the course of the narration. I loved the theatrical elements involved, the mystery behind Celia Sands, the characters in the present day storyline…It felt like it was more about the characters here than anything else. Oh, and it’s set in Italy, what’s not to love? 😀
- Mariana (review) — This was my first Susanna Kearsley novel, and it honestly left me a little baffled the first time, in part because of the time slip element and partly because I felt the reveal at the end came totally out of the blue and…dare I say ruined my experience of the book as a whole (because I was so baffled)? However, after reading a number of her books since and going back to it more recently, I’ve come to appreciate why that ending came about and just really appreciated the overall story a lot more. It does have great characters, great character interaction, and doesn’t plod a bit when it comes to the seventeenth century storyline so yeah, it gets a mention on this list now. But I’d recommend reading the first two before this book (unless time slips are your thing or you’re curious to know more of what exactly it is I’m talking about, lol).
- The Rose Garden (review) — I initially was just going to list three books but I decided to add this book for readers who enjoy Diana Gabaldon’s books.The time slip here is a lot different compared to Mariana or The Winter Sea in that the main character, Eva, actually can slip back to the past. Not my favourite of Kearsley’s novels but it was still interesting and there were some characters that I really liked.
I hope this list helps if you’re interested in checking out Susanna Kearsley’s books for the first time! If you’ve read her books, which one is your favourite by her? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which books have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂