Monday, 9 July 2018

Review: Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Some houses seem to want to hold their secrets.

It’s 1759 and the world is at war, pulling the North American colonies of Britain and France into the conflict. The times are complicated, as are the loyalties of many New York merchants who have secretly been trading with the French for years, defying Britain’s colonial laws in a game growing ever more treacherous.

When captured French officers are brought to Long Island to be billeted in private homes on their parole of honour, it upends the lives of the Wilde family—deeply involved in the treasonous trade and already divided by war.

Lydia Wilde, struggling to keep the peace in her fracturing family following her mother’s death, has little time or kindness to spare for her unwanted guests. French-Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran has little desire to be there. But by the war’s end they’ll both learn love, honour, and duty can form tangled bonds that are not broken easily.

Their doomed romance becomes a local legend, told and re-told through the years until the present day, when conflict of a different kind brings Charley Van Hoek to Long Island to be the new curator of the Wilde House Museum.

Charley doesn’t believe in ghosts. But as she starts to delve into the history of Lydia and her French officer, it becomes clear that the Wilde House holds more than just secrets, and Charley discovers the legend might not have been telling the whole story...or the whole truth.

Paperback, 414 pages

Published April 24th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Canada

Terri's Thoughts

Due to some personal matters that required my attention, the time between reading this story and getting around to writing this review has been significant.  As a results I feel I may be doing a disservice to the story and Kearsley since I couldn't write it while it was fresh in my head.  If I have done so, I apologize.

Susanna Kearsley is one of my go to authors when I want a read that I know I will enjoy.  The way she weaves the past and present to tell a story that is both interesting and educational is something I look forward to each time I pick up one of her books.  

In most historical fiction stories that feature both present day and historical plots, I tend to favor the story set in the past.  Not this time.  I was equally invested in both Charley's story and Lydia's which made flipping the pages pretty easy for me.  Both characters were dealing with grief and finding a way in their new reality and both stories depicted strong woman who were easy to like.  Both also featured a love story that was sweet and believable.  I love how innocent Lydia's was.

I will refrain from divulging any plot details but if you are already a fan of Susanna Kearsley than do not hesitate to pick this story up, you will not be disappointed.  If you are not familiar with her work and are a fan of historical fictions, read this and then go back and read her other novels!  It is fantastic that I have found such a great (and local) author to support

About the Author

New York Times, USA Today, and Globe and Mail bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is a former museum curator who loves restoring the lost voices of real people to the page, interweaving romance and historical intrigue with modern adventure.

Her books, published in translation in more than 20 countries, have won the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, a RITA Award, and National Readers’ Choice Awards, and have finaled for the UK’s Romantic Novel of the Year and the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel.

She lives near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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