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Mariana by Susannah Kearsley

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Susan
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Mariana by Susannah Kearsley

Post by Susan » Wed April 4th, 2012, 10:39 pm

Not too far into the book...interesting that the protagonist's brother Tom Becket was also a character in another Kearsley novel, Every Secret Thing, which I read recently. He's a vicar and uses the same line in each book that goes something like, "How could I not be a vicar with that name?"
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Wed April 4th, 2012, 10:49 pm

Hmmm that is interesting..hope they aren't the same book!
Brenna

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sat April 7th, 2012, 1:16 pm

[quote=""Brenna""]Hmmm that is interesting..hope they aren't the same book![/quote]

Oh, no, they definitely are not the same book. Every Secret Thing is quite different from her other books. It's more of a thriller, murder mystery and Kearsley originally published it under a different name, Emma Cole. Mariana is in the same vein as The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden.
~Susan~
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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sat April 7th, 2012, 1:22 pm

For those who have read or are reading Mariana, Kearsley has photos of settings used in the novel on her website.
http://www.susannakearsley.com/marianaphotos.html
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
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Susan
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Post by Susan » Mon April 9th, 2012, 12:09 am

Finished this book today. Loved it! What a surprise at the end! I love what Kearsley does with her settings and the way she makes the readers feel that they are there with the characters.
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 1:15 am

Finished this today. Very good. Throughout the novel, I was thinking of two earlier works that were done on a similar theme: Anya Seton's Green Darkness, which I feel was done rather badly, at least the present-day part of the story; and Thomas Costain's Below the Salt, which
Kearsley carried the theme off very well. But Jabez Howard was a little too over-the-top for believability.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 1:46 pm

I just finished reading this over the weekend, too. I liked it for the most part. Kearsley's books are always very atmospheric and cozy. They can be very satisfying if you're in the mood for this kind of romantic timeslip story. However, I'm always a little niggled by how contrived they are. There is a sameness to the character types and plot devices she tends to use that makes the three I've read so far feel very interchangeable.

I also wish she'd stray from using heroines in the contemporary threads who are authors or somehow in the book business. It may not be intentional, and as a reader I might be reading too much into it, but it often feels like the author projecting her own persona into the contemporary main character which rubs me a little the wrong way.

I also think she tends to wear her research on her sleeve too much. It supports her story, isn't gratutious, but when characters are congratulating themselves on how clever they are for knowing some historical tidbit that is something that I would know (and my knowledge is very basic) or can easily be looked up in an Encyclopedia or Wiki entry, I start to get a little impatient with them.

The way the regressions happen is a little too close to du Maurier's House on the Strand, but doesn't work nearly as well IMO. In HotS, there were dire consequences to those regressions. In this, the regressions are handled in such a way that is much harder for me to swallow.

Finally, I liked the twist but wasn't surprised by it. I thought the obvious choice was a red herring throughout. This isn't a criticism, though.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 2:25 pm

Yes, there is a 'sameness' to the three novels I have read -- the Rose Garden, the Winter Sea, and Mariana. The heroines are always gorgeous enough to attract the attention of a handsome man right off the bat, which gets old. But almost every writer does that.

I suppose from a marketing standpoint, your average female reader would prefer to live for a few hours in the persona of someone pretty than someone homely, but it seems to me that a really skilled writer could be able to take that and stand it on its head.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Mon April 23rd, 2012, 2:36 pm

Thanks for the link, Susan - her website's lovely, although I found the text on some of the photos hard to read, especially where it's written in green over pictures of the countryside! It doesn't say where that Red Lion pub is though - I'd be curious to know.

There are some lovely pics to go with her other books too.
Currently reading: Now you see them by Elly Griffiths

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Tue April 24th, 2012, 12:02 am

[quote=""Madeleine""]Thanks for the link, Susan - her website's lovely, although I found the text on some of the photos hard to read, especially where it's written in green over pictures of the countryside! It doesn't say where that Red Lion pub is though - I'd be curious to know.

There are some lovely pics to go with her other books too.[/quote]

If I am remembering correctly, I read someplace (where?) where that Red Lion Pub is. If I find it, I will post it.
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

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