Thursday, February 3, 2011
Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley
Season of Storms evokes the majesty and mystery of the Italian Lake District....
"In the early 1900's, in an elegant, isolated villa called Il Piacere, the playwright Galeazzo D'Ascanio lived for Celia Sands. She was his muse and his mistress, his most enduring obsession. She was the inspiration for his most stunning, original play. But the night before she was to take the stage in the leading role, she disappeared.
Now, in a theatre on the grounds of Il Piacere, Alessandro D'Ascanio is preparing to stage the first performance of his granfather's masterpiece. A promising young actress--who shares Celia Sands's name--but not her blood--has agreed to star. She is instantly drawn to the mysteries surrounding the play--and to her compelling, compassionate employer. And even though she knows she should let the past go, in the dark--in her dreams--it comes back...."
(from the publisher)
Once again, in Season of Storms, Susanna Kearsley has expertly woven a tale where the threads of a tragic love story from the past are woven into the present day storyline, and the result is a beautiful blend of mystery and suspense. In classic Kearsley style, the romance is subtle and the prose is lovely, evoking the charm and elegance of the Italian countryside and the glamorous villa of Il Piacere.
At the turn of the century, a beautiful actress, Celia Sands, was the lover of married playwright Galeazzo D'Asconio. She was his inspiration for poetry and for whom he wrote his greatest play, Il Prezzo ("The Price"). No one was able to see his beloved Celia perform in the play as she mysteriously disappeared before her first performance. The reader gradually learns more of this mystery and gains more insight into Galeazzo's love for Celia in vignettes throughout the book. I actually thought this was the most compelling part of the plot and wished more time had been spent on this aspect of the story.
The present-day Celia Sands, a young inexperienced actress, is delighted to learn that she has been chosen to perform the lead in the production of Il Prezzo in Italy. She has been invited, along with other famous actors, to perform at the newly renovated villa where the grandson of Galeazzo D'Asconio, Alex, now resides. As soon as she arrives, strange events begin to occur.....there is an undercurrent of secrecy and deception by many players, and Celia begins to wonder if she has unwittingly walked into danger.
While Season of Storms has a very satisfying and poignant conclusion, it took a long time for all the threads to come together -- a bit less description would have moved the plot along, but I've come to learn to be patient with Kearsley's style and enjoy the journey. Not her best, but still very enjoyable.
You might also like to see my reviews of Kearsley's other novels, all which I highly recommend.
The Winter Sea
The Shadowy Horses
Named of the Dragon
Title: Season of Storms
Author: Susanna Kearsley
McArthur & Company