Thursday, January 20, 2022

Book Review: Mariana by Susanna Kearsley


Susanna Kearsley
Publication: Sourcebooks Landmark (April 1, 2012)

Description: The next book from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley, Mariana is a story of incredible romance traveling in time from modern day England to a haunted Gothic past.

When Julia Beckett moves into a beautiful old farmhouse, she soon discovers she's not alone there. She encounters haunting remnants of a beautiful young woman who lived and loved there centuries ago. Julia finds herself transported into 17th-century England, and into the world of Mariana.

Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past... until she realizes Mariana's life is eclipsing her own. She must lay the past to rest or risk losing the chance for happiness in her own time.

With heartbreaking romance, escapist fantasy, and powerfully drawn characters, Kearsley takes you on a time-traveling journey you'll never forget.

My Thoughts: Julia Beckett fell in love with a house when she was five and on a family vacation. She saw it again at 22 and again at nearly 30. She's grown up, become a successful illustrator, and inherited a packet from a great aunt. She is finally able to buy the house that had been calling to her for years.

Almost as soon as she moves in, she begins seeing a man on a gray horse, hears legends of a Green woman who haunts her house, and finds herself slipping out of the present into the life of a young woman named Mariana who lived in the 1600s. This terrifies her and makes her think she's losing her mind, but her brother who has become a Vicar reassures her and lets her open her mind to the possibility of reincarnation.

As Julia spends more time as Mariana she comes to know Richard de Mornay who is the Lord of the Manor. She is also forced to live with her abusive uncle, his beaten wife, and sister-in-law. As an orphan who was forced to flee London because of the plague, she has no other options. Her relationship with Richard has to be kept secret. 

Meanwhile, Julia is making friends in the present. Vivien is the local barkeeper. Her next-door neighbor is Geoff de Mornay who is very rich and a descendant of Richard's. She also meets Iain Sumner who is Geoff's best-friend from his Cambridge days and who is currently a farmer and gardener. 

Julia also meets Vivien's Aunt Freda who is Geoff's housekeeper and who seems to know a lot about what Julia is going through. Julia becomes almost obsessed with Mariana's life and spends more and more time in the past. None of her research in the present gives her any information about Richard and she knows little more about Mariana than she can find on her tombstone. 

I loved this story which was beautifully written and intriguing. I will admit that I was surprised at the ending which didn't go at all the way I thought it would. I'm not really a fan of time travel but Kearsley's books are exceptions. I love the way the present and past are woven together.

Favorite Quote:
"The past can teach us, nurture us, but it cannot sustain us, The essence of life is change, and we most move ever forward or the soul will wither and die."
I bought this one December 29, 2012. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I like this author so very much. Always something different, something that draws you in. This sounds a good one. Not in a Kindle version?


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