Friday, November 27, 2009
Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
Author: Susanna Kearsley
ISBN: 978-0-7490-0706-5, Allison and Busby, 2009
Genre: Romantic Suspense
First Line: I first saw the house in the summer of my fifth birthday.
I've discovered over the years that some houses have the power of speech. When I first moved to Phoenix, I walked to work every morning and passed a slightly down-at-heels 1950s ranch house. Nothing about it would draw anyone's attention, but for some reason each time I walked by, I got gooseflesh-- and the feeling that the house was sad. A year later I happened to be watching the evening news and found out that police had shut down a house of prostitution specializing in S&M... in that same sad little ranch house.
At the age of five Julia Beckett had a house speak to her, and twenty-five years later she finds the house once again. Flush with an inheritance from an aunt, Julia buys Greywethers, a sixteenth-century farmhouse in Wiltshire. She moves in and finds the villagers very friendly and helpful-- so much so that she finds it difficult to get to work illustrating a book of fairy tales. Bit by bit, Julia learns the rudimentary history of Greywethers and the young woman, Mariana, who lived there three hundred years ago. It seems that Mariana has been waiting for her.
I've read two books recently that I would label romantic suspense. It's a genre that I seldom touch because the romance usually takes precedence over everything else in the story. That's definitely not the case here. Mariana is a fun read. Julia is an engaging character living in a fascinating house. Both time lines-- Julia's modern day time and Mariana's-- grabbed my attention equally. Normally one time line tends to be stronger than the other, but Kearsley avoids that completely, and the plot is not formulaic; it had more than one surprise for me.
If you're in the mood for a fast, entertaining read that has a fascinating old house, a mystery that spans the centuries, and a light touch of romance, Mariana could be just the book for you.
[Source: purchased at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore.]
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.