Monday, August 6, 2018

ARC Review: Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

Pub. Date:Aug 7, 2018
Length:512 pgs

Bellewether is typical of what I have come to think of as Susanna Kearsley's forte - delivering a story within a story. Bellewether is a divided story told partially in the present and partially in the past, and involves a historical memory about super interesting characters with a potentially tragic story. This book blended the past and present nicely, and totally immersed me in the colonial era with the Wilde family during the French and Indian War.

The present day aspect of our story is set in Long Island at the Wilde family home, which is being turned into a museum. Our modern heroine, Charley, has relocated to Long Island following a family tragedy. She was hired on as a curator to turn the Wilde house into a museum, and she is really good at her job. I loved following Charley as she uncovered secrets of the past, even when she had a little paranormal help. I also liked the family dynamics, and was glad to see a lot of family healing happening as the story progressed. Of course, there was also a little romance to consider as well, though it was a minor part of the modern story. I still liked having that aspect in the story, and I absolutely loved Charley's love interest.

I don't want to say too much about the historical aspect of the story, as that is the huge mystery to uncover that takes the length of the book before its fully revealed. So we will be reliving aspects of history to learn the truth behind the legend of the ghost that seems to inhabit the Wilde house. Not only to we have to figure out who the ghost is, but also what really happened the year that the Wilde's hosted captive French soldiers under their roof. This is where our love story comes in, and all of the interesting historical details are relayed. I think I was more caught up in the historical aspect of the story than the modern day, but I think that's fairly common with this type of storyline. The historical characters, all of them, were just so interesting and I enjoyed seeing them come to life on the page. I think this type of job is super interesting, and I would love to do something where I uncovered secrets of the past. (Maybe I should have explored that before spending all that money on law school!)

This is a meandering story, so it's something you want to read on a lazy day when you aren't in the move for fast-moving action. Bellewether didn't suck me right in like The Winter Sea and The Firebird did, but after a somewhat slow start, I got more and more invested as I read. Susanna Kearsley is a fabulous storyteller. She uses great imagery and brings her characters and settings to life. I don't think you can go wrong with any of her books.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark.

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