The Winter Sea
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Historically rich, The Winter Sea is a clever weaving together of a contemporary story -- writer Carie McClelland's historical research into her latest book project and her blossoming romance with her landlord's son -- with the account of her book's subjects during the planning and aftermath of the 1708 failed Scottish Jacobite uprising. After spending five months in France, where she has researched the court of the pretender king and intends to locate her novel's events, Carrie is frustrated that work on the book is progressing slowly. She takes a break by visiting her friend and agent near Cruden Bay in Scotland, where she is drawn to a ruined castle that figured significantly into the Jacobite plot, and where she finds that the historical story begins to tell itself through her dreams. She first writes and then researches the characters and plot lines that emerge, finding that her research confirms the accuracy of places, names and events. Near the end, because Carrie's research reveals that her book's hero died in battle, she deals wisely with her struggle between writing a historically accurate novel and delivering a happy ending to her waiting readers. The Winter Sea contains politics, historical intrigue and military strategy, seemingly upstanding characters whose trustworthiness is questionable and romance that is both heart-warming and gut-wrenching. Told through the eyes of Carrie's young heroine, Sophia, and, in the contemporary part of the tale through Carrie herself, The Winter Sea is engrossing.
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