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)

my thoughts:

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
3.5/5 stars

Title: Season of Storms
Author: Susanna Kearsley
McArthur & Company
435 pages
genre: mystery/suspense


Svea Love said...

That is great you have learned how to approach the authors writing style; I am sure it make for a more enjoyable read! Thanks for the review, Joanne :)

Christy B said...

I'm currently reading this! I love that it takes place in Italy.

Good to hear it's another good one from Kearsley.

Joanne said...

Hi, Svea and Christy -- Kearlsey is such an excellent storyteller, but Mariana and The Winter Sea remain my favorites. I'll be looking for your review, Christy, to see how our notes compare. :)

Staci said...

I like this author and this one sounds pretty good!!

Joanne said...

Hi, Staci -- I discovered Kearsley last year and have tried to read all of her backlist. They're all great "rainy day" reads -- comforting with a little romance and suspense.

Marg said...

I am working my way through Kearsley's backlist, and this was the first one that didn't really blow me away. It was okay, but not that amazing reading experience that I had with The Winter Sea (still my favourite) or The Shadowy Horses or Mariana!

Joanne said...

Hi, Marg - Yes, I agree this was not one of her best (too much description and slow moving). I'm looking forward to her upcoming release of The Rose Garden. (And yes, The Winter Sea and Mariana are tough to top.)

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