I haven’t long owned Mariana by Susanna Kearsley however I have read and heard such positive things about it from other readers that I just couldn’t wait to start it.
Mariana takes us to the sleepy countryside of England where for the third time in her life Julia Beckett has been inextricably drawn to Greywethers, an old farmhouse in a small village off the beaten track. Feeling that this surely has to be a sign Julia buys the house. Upon moving in Julia finds the landscape and peace inspiring, and finds the locals friendly too however it is not long before Julia begins connecting with a young woman, who lived in the house many years ago, called Mariana through disturbing out-of-time experiences.
Julia Beckett is an illustrator for children’s books (what a great job) who for most of her adult life has lived in London but when we meet her Julia finds herself drawn to the countryside, in particular to Greywethers. Julia is a likeable protagonist; being clever, artistic, friendly and a book lover! Julia is joined in this story by her brother Tom a vicar whose parish is near by, Vivien the local pub owner, Iain a neighbouring farmer, Geoff the handsome lord, and of course Mariana and those she knew in the past. There are several interesting romances between these characters running through out the story, present and past, I will go no further in my description though because they are complicated and I wouldn’t want to ruin any surprises.
Mariana is the third novel I have read by Susanna Kearsley, and like those two previous novels I really enjoyed this. What I particularly like about Kearsley is her writing style which I find just so comforting and familiar, like a favourite jumper. I find a few pages into her novels I am already lost in the tales of life, love and history. I also like dual time periods and I feel Kearsley is great at them. While I often find myself in these sorts of novels drawn to one period or another (usually the past) in this I found myself enjoying and being invested in both time periods. I think perhaps this now my joint favourite of Kearsley’s novels alongside The Rose Garden.
Mariana is a beautiful dual time period novel of life, love and history. I highly recommend and I look forward to reading more by Kearsley. I have Season of Storms and The Shadowy Horses on my to-be-read pile. Great read.
Have you read any of Susanna Kearsley’s novels? Any recommendations?