Season of Storms

September 8, 2014 Fiction, Gothic, Magical Realism, Review, Romance, Women's Fiction 8 ★★★★★

Season of StormsTitle: Season of Storms
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: A beautiful, atmospheric book with great characters, full of exciting romance and adventure.

Galeazzo D’Ascanio last play is known as his most brilliant, but it’s never been performed. Each attempt has been plagued by disaster, starting in the early 1900’s with the first performance when D’Ascanio’s muse and lover, Celia Sands, disappeared the night before she was to play the leading role. Decades later, a young actress named after Celia Sands is asked to take on the same role in the play being stated by D’Ascanio’s grandson. Both the mystery of the play and D’Ascanio’s handsome grandson intrigue Celia, but the relics of the play’s history may prove more dangerous than they first appear.

This is the first book I’ve read by Susanna Kearsley and it was everything I had hoped for. The dual narrative was very enjoyable. Although the focus was clearly on the story set in the present, I enjoyed reading about past events that had happened at each location. They added context to the present-day mystery and presented a bit of a mystery of their own. The descriptions of the Italian setting were beautiful. The location is very atmospheric and the hints of the supernatural added some spice to the story. I particularly liked learning a bit of Italian history and a bit about the process of putting on a play. Fiction that exposes me to different locations and or professions is something I always appreciate.

The plot pacing was spot on. Something exciting was always happening, whether mystery or romance. I also loved the characters. They all were really brought to life, with their own unique personalities and interests, and I enjoyed their interactions. I was very happy to see characters resolve their misunderstandings by talking about them, instead of acting on assumptions in frustrating ways. Celia was a wonderful main character. She struck the perfect balance between confidence and insecurity, making her very relatable. Her game of assigning people roles in Shakespeare plays also endeared her to me and helped illustrate the type of people the other characters were. If this story jumps out at you as your kind of story, as it did for me, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’d recommend it particularly to fans of Italian setting and stories with hints of the supernatural.

Do you sometimes pick up books because they just seem like something you’ll like? Or do you do some research and reading of reviews before you choose a book? Or some of both?

8 Responses to “Season of Storms”

  1. Jancee

    This sounds really good! When it comes to reading, I do a bit of everything. I take recommendations, read reviews, and just pick up what looks good to me. It really all depends on my mood – sometimes I want to browse, sometimes I read thematically, sometimes I want to carefully pick and choose and put everything on hold so they will be waiting when I get to the library.

    • DoingDewey

      That makes sense. No reason to restrict yourself to one way of finding books! I don’t do a good job of taking recommendations from friends I know in person because I always have such a backlog of blogger recommendations. I think perhaps I’m more likely to take blogger recommendations because I know we’ll actually talk about the book when I’m done 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      I do the same thing! I always feel a bit silly when I judge a book by its cover and I think it’s funny how much publishers know what will get me, but there are some books that just look like my kind of book – and surprisingly often, they are actually my kind of book!

  2. Lianne @

    Glad you enjoyed this book! I recently picked up a copy for myself (went on a bit of a Kearsley spree for my Kobo a few weeks ago), so I’m looking forward to reading it 🙂

    As for picking up books…definitely both, though I do try to do a bit of research on it first, look up a few non-spoilerish reviews, and decide (to cut down time standing in the bookstore and debating with the book in my hand–though that works too!–but then it cuts down on shelf browsing time too xP). Too many books, too little time! 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, wonderful! I hope you enjoy it too. Have you read anything else by Kearsley already?

      I do the same thing. Since starting blogging, I rarely go into a bookstore or the library without some ideas about what I want to pick up. I miss browsing a little, but I also think I enjoy a greater percentage of the books I pick up.

  3. Melissa W.

    It really depends on the context; sometimes I’ll be looking through a library’s catalogue and find something that I might enjoy, but I also do some reading of reviews before seeing if my library has the book.

    • DoingDewey

      I have almost completely stopped just browsing my library or library catalogue since starting blogging and I miss it! It’s nice to have reviews to back up your choice of book, but I like the serendipity of just browsing too 🙂

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