“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Haunting and Evocative Dual-Timeline Romance--"Bellewether" by Susanna Kearsley--Review

Susanna Kearsley writes yet another lush saga in her newest novel Bellewether!  Ms. Kearsley has become an “auto buy” author for me ever since I discovered The Winter Sea a few years ago.  I love that these secular novels are fairly clean with such amazing writing.  I have devoured all of her work since and my only complaint is that this novel took so long to be released!

Ms. Kearsley includes evocative descriptions and the setting (an old house on Long Island, New York) is almost like a character in and of itself.  This is the type of story for when you want to sit back and be immersed in another time and place.  It is slower paced and Ms. Kearlsey takes her time describing particular settings and historical circumstances in minute detail.  But that richness of detail is one of the things her readers love about her books.

This is a dual-timeline novel, where one story takes place in the present and the other in the past; but both stories are connected.  The love stories are so romantic and they take so long to develop that you can feel the tension between the characters.  It’s also very touching how love builds between two people who can’t speak the same language.  The contemporary story reminds me a bit of Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls and their relationship.

There are so many great themes and messages that one can take away from reading Bellewether.  Both the present and past stories have similarities and echo these same themes.  Bellewether shows how wars can divide families, and deals with issues of slavery and racism.  There is an amazing message of not turning your back on your family, especially when they need you.  Bellewether also conveys the message of not dwelling on the past so much that you miss what’s in front of you and of learning to be happy with the life one’s been given.  I absolutely loved this story and recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and romance!
Content: This is a fairly clean read for a secular novel in this genre.  Overall, I would give it a PG-13 rating for some mild content.  Some examples of the content are: mention of men drinking ale; minor curse words are used; mention of a woman possibly drowning herself; men speak curses but the words aren’t actually written; people drink alcohol; a man struggles with what seems to be PTSD; a man beats a slave; the N word for an African American is used in historical context; mention of past sexual and physical abuse, but nothing is described in detail.
Rating: I give this book 5 stars!
Genre: Historical Fiction; Romance; Dual-Timeline
I want to thank NetGalley, Susanna Kearsley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

About the Author:
I had the good fortune to be born into a family of readers. My mother was reading Mary Stewart’s This Rough Magic when I was born, so it was perhaps no surprise that Mrs Stewart became my own favourite author.

I can’t remember when I began to put words on paper myself, but at seven - after reading Little Women and deciding that I wanted to be just like Jo - I started writing first chapters, and wrote continually through my teenage years. After studying politics and international development at university, I sidestepped into museum work and at the age of twenty-two became a curator.
In that same year, my sister dared me to stop writing first chapters and produce a book. I’d never been able to resist a dare! By the end of that summer I’d finished my first novel, and I was hooked. My ‘hobby’ had become a vocation.
I left the museum to waitress and write. Working mostly late at night, I wrote my second novel, Mariana, and submitted it to Transworld Publishers’ Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize competition. Four days before Christmas, I learned that I’d won. The very best of Christmas presents, and one that truly changed my life - not only the £10,000 prize, but major international publication of a book that continues to find its own life.
And more than twenty years later, I’m still feeling fortunate, doing the thing I love best...telling stories.

To purchase the book click here
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