‘Season of Storms’ by Susanna Kearsley is a novel based around a young girl’s, Celia Sands, acting career that has barely taken off. She isn’t well known in her field, so when she is handed the lead character of her favorite play writer’s never-seen-before play, she becomes weary of whether she should take the position. Influenced by friends and family, she decides to take on this adventure. Though not knowing she is going to discover the answer to the biggest secret of the century.
Let me begin by saying, Susanna Kearsley wrote my favorite book called ‘The Winter Sea’. This book, ‘Season of Storms’, was a great read, but still does not fall on the same spectrum as ‘The Winter Sea’. I still think this novel was fun and entertaining. The quality I like most about Susanna Kearsley is she always surprises me by the background and themes of her stories. Many books I’ve read have all followed a very similar outline. Whether it’s always in a big city, certain time period, or too weak of character types, Susanna has opened up new worlds for my imagination to explore. I thank her for this as a reader so I feel like I’m not reading the same thing over again and again.
With that being said, Susanna has a very simple writing style. I can predict some of what her characters might do or where the story is headed. This does not mean she writes bad stories, I thoroughly enjoy them for the fun in which they were created.
Now, for the story. You start in London with Celia and get to know her character in the most basic of ways. She is the protagonist and who the book is based around, so Susanna wants you to really understand her in her rawest form. I’m talking, you hear Celia’s background story, her wishes, and desires, why she acts certain ways, and what things she hates the most and why. I was able to create a good picture of Who Celia Sands was. You know from the beginning what the outline of the book will be, as her friend will discuss. Now, as time went on, I completely forgot the details Celia’s friend explained, so thank you, Celia, for pointing throughout the book those tiny details to keep her character and the reader on course.
The book’s description on the back already gives away the fact that Celia Sands, our Protagonist, has the same name as Celia Sands the First. Celia Sands the First was the lover of Celia Sands (PRO) favorite writer Galeazzo D’Ascanio.
You travel to Italy (explained on the back of book – not spoiler) with Celia and start her journey through this play she was given the lead in. Celia has assumptions as to why she was picked and I completely agreed with her. I actually thought to myself, “Well doesn’t that just sound like a handout, I wouldn’t want a position just because I had a common name with a dead actress.” So we already see her hesitation in even taking this position but she felt pressured by many people and it was her favorite writer’s play she would be acting out. Lot’s of turmoil happening already within our protagonist.
We make it to our location at D’Ascanio’s huge, beautiful Italian villa. Galeazzo used to live here, which has now been handed down the generations (also on the back of the book). Here we meet the rest of our actors and actresses or characters for the story. The rest of the book resides at D’Ascanio’s villa and grounds. All the characters had very specific traits. You could tell easily who you liked and disliked. There was only one character that I was wary of at the beginning and then came to like very much. Meeting everyone set the tone for the coming chapters. All my predictions went as expected.
Side note: If you have a prediction and it is proven correct, that doesn’t make the story a bad one or uneventful. There were some predictions I made that made me happy that I was correct. It’s always nice to be surprised when you’re wrong and something completely twists your thoughts, but having a hunch or creating that curiosity is part of the fun in reading. It is okay if your predictions are right and you weren’t surprised about them.
The book was able to glide right on with great acceleration when I got past the formalities. The story excelled in getting from point A to point B. Of course, when suspicious things started happening, I instantly became glued and wanted to read through until I was satisfied with a small clue. It was easy to read multiple chapters at a time then take a break and come back to it.
The climax was gruesomely well written but very understandable from my point of view and Celia’s. You do get a sense of relief and release of emotions throughout the after events of the climax. Susanna does a great job in this book of not giving everything you want as a reader, but forcing you to deal with the life-like expressions a person would go through in the events she describes.
I very much enjoyed reading this book. It was refreshing from some of the recent books I’ve read. It was easy to like for the pure simplicity of her writing style. There were wonderful characters with obvious feelings created for each, which held your focus and made you want to search for the dirt within. This story wanted you to hold onto every detail so you could piece the puzzle together so you and Celia could work together, reader and character.