November 16, 2012

MARIANA by Susanna Kearsley

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
Paperback, 384 pages
Kindle, 382 pages
Published April 1, 2012 by Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN-10: 1402258674
ISBN-13: 978-1402258671

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew at once that it was her house. Now, twenty-five years later, by some strange chance, she has just become the new owner of the sixteenth-century Wilshire farmhouse. But Julia soon begins to suspect that more than coincidence has brought her there. As if Greywethers were a porthal between worlds, she finds herself abruptly transported back in time. Stepping into seventeenth-century England, Julia becomes Mariana, a beautiful young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love for Richard de Mornay, handsome forebear of the present squire of Crofton Hall. Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past, falling ever deeper in love with Richard...until one day she realizes Mariana's life threatens to eclipse her own--and that she must find a way to lay the past to rest, or risk losing a chance for love in her own time.

My Thoughts on Mariana

Oh Susanna Kearsley, how I love your books. They are a wonderful blend of historical fiction, gothic and romance and Mariana is no different, except that a dash of time travel has been thrown in. Yes, readers, that officially makes this book literary heaven for me.

From the moment I read the first sentence, I was drawn into the character of Julia Beckett and the incredibly atmospheric Greywethers. When a house or property is a major character in a novel, the author simply must excel at making that character as clear in the reader's mind as possible. Ms. Kearsley excels at this. Turning the pages, I could easily visualize the worn rooms, the light filtering in the windows, the sound of Julia's teakettle on the stove. I could see the gardens and Richard de Mornay in the haze.

Ms. Kearsley's writing is so seamless, you move through the present and the seventeeth century smoothly and with little transition. I adore the theme of time travel and when it's done right - - as is with Mariana - - my heart yearns to step into the pages of the book. I wanted to live in this book.  I wanted to live at Greywethers.  I wanted to drop down to the local pub with the local townspeople and gossip.  I wanted the wonderfully crazy Tom as my brother.  I wanted to be Julia. 

Mariana is also a romance.  A sweet, timeless romance that will make you feel warm and fuzzy.  For those readers with more sensitive tastes, there are no sexual situations or "adults only" content. 

I adored this book and didn't want it to end.  Frankly, the only negative with this book is that it had to end.  It was literally almost impossible to put down.  Given my feelings on it, and on The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley has earned a well-deserved spot on my "must read" and "favorite authors" list.  I cannot express how relieved I am that I have The Rose Garden and The Shadowy Horses ready for a follow-up. 

Do yourself a favor and pick this beautiful read up for yourself or for that person in your life that appreciates time travel, historical fiction and/or just a damn good story.  

Mariana is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an Amazon affiliate.  If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission. 

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of my review. 

For more information on author Susanna Kearsley, please visit her website

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