23 September 2012

Mariana by Suzanna Kearsley, Book review

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN-13: 978-1402258671


From the winner of the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, this mesmerizing, suspenseful, and richly atmospheric tale of time travel draws us into the heart of a heroine we won't soon forget...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:

I could not have chosen a better book to read whilst feeling (utterly) miserable with the flu! Anything  resembling  'Once upon a time..., is guaranteed to make any one of us dream!
It is not in us to deny the irresistible attraction that portents such a beginning!

This is the first time I read a novel by Suzanna Kearsley and I found her penmanship flawless but then anyone worthy of Catherine Cookson's Fiction Prize has to be discerning! Here is no amateur!

The very idea of time traveling has always plunged people in an array of skepticism but for some 'what if' is as enthralling as 'Once upon a time'.. 
I will admit  I am leery of the possibility souls might live throughout the ages, let alone knowing each other at a mere glance. Like St Thomas, I found the idea of someone slipping in and out of time frames hardly conducive in our busy world but I am first a dreamer...or so I am told...
Have we not at one time or another, some of us, admit if only to ourselves, to the sudden recognition of a place, a moment, a face which we could not explain?

In 'Mariana', Suzanna Kearsley tells a breathtaking love story spanning from the 17th Century to the present  betwixt two souls who wait for their other half. She perfects the whole idea to the point you will feel Julia's emotions as she tries to understand what is happening as times goes by.

Readers like me who love History or just plain romance are introduced to an amazing house (bad plumbing or not, I would take it!), even a ghost (or two) and set in a picture perfect postcard English village setting!
Complete with a host of merry patrons, we discover the local pub and its owner, a witty and perhaps a tad unusual Vicar, an endearing if somewhat set in his ways Scottish gardener/farmer, a handsome Lord of the manor and a gallant Cavalier!

This might have been just another of those romances penned by the dozen but this author gives us a most entertaining rendition of Julia's wanderings and just when you think you have it all figured out, a new facet is revealed! Be prepared for a surprise or two...

Most enjoyable and the perfect panacea for a rainy afternoon or gloomy evening, 'Mariana' will make anyone believe in Forever!
Only God knows for sure but what if...Once upon a  time...Two souls loved so strongly...

5 Stars!  

Note to Readers: I am always puzzled as to what Publishers believes their readers will be most attracted to in a cover! I found numerous covers for Mariana and thought you might like to see them. The first one is shown above!

This cover was by far my favourite and whilst you cannot judge a book by its cover, it would have been a 'sold' for me!

Reminiscent of the first one but too much like a 'for sale' sign!

Since the ghost is called 'The Green Lady' I cannot say it would have appealed to my taste!

How about you? Which cover do you like best?

About the Author:

An author with a sure talent for entertaining dreamers everywhere!
This is what Suzanna Kearsley tells us about herself:
 'I write modern gothic novels that blend historical adventure and modern-day suspense with romance and a touch of something spooky, so they don't fit neatly into any category, really...but they're fun to write!
I live on the north shore of Lake Ontario, east of Toronto, in Canada.'

For further information on this author, including the opportunity to read Chapter One of MARIANA please visit her website (here)!
As always, please note this review was not requested and reflects entirely my own opinion!


  1. This was my first read of this author (whom I had on my TBR for years) and I loved this book. I then went on to The Shadowy Horses which I also liked very much.

  2. I will have to check this title as well Mystica. I understand The Winter Sea was also very well written. We need more authors like her!
    Thanks for sharing as always and have a lovely day,

  3. I do so love books, by this lady!!!

    Gentle hugs,
    (NE of the USA)


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