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Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Night scene in dark blue, showing a tree reflected in a mirror pond with stars and gold swirls to evoke the feeling of magic.Why I read it:  I will read anything Susanna Kearsley writes.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  “The house, when I first saw it, seemed intent on guarding what it knew; but we all learned, by the end of it, that secrets aren’t such easy things to keep.”

It’s late summer, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest. As he begins to pitch in with the never-ending household tasks and farm chores, Jean-Philippe de Sabran finds himself drawn to the daughter of the house. Slowly, Lydia Wilde comes to lean on Jean-Philippe, true soldier and gentleman, until their lives become inextricably intertwined. Legend has it that the forbidden love between Jean-Philippe and Lydia ended tragically, but centuries later, the clues they left behind slowly unveil the true story.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I adore Susanna Kearsley and love her books. I usually get kind of torn about a new SK book; I want to save it and savor it and I want to read it immediately and both of those things don’t really sit comfortably together. In the case of Bellewether, I was having one of those weeks where I didn’t have a lot of time to read so that forced me to read more slowly than I usually would have otherwise, which meant I was able to savor the language and let the words and the story sink into my bones.

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Why I listened to it:  I borrowed a copy from a friend because mail from The Book Depository takes too long when a book is this much anticipated.

What it’s about:  (from Goodreads):  Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird – the mythical creature from an old Russian fable. Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna into the past who leads her on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

 

Warning:  Spoilers for The Winter Sea

 
What worked for me (and what didn’t): I have been eagerly anticipating this book.  My previous two favourite Kearsley books were The Winter Sea/Sophia’s Secret and The Shadowy Horses.  When I found out that Anna Moray from The Winter Sea and Rob McMorran from The Shadowy Horses were featured in this book, I just knew it was going to be wonderful.  I was not disappointed.
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