Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Just when I had come to accept the fact that I was wrong and to just accept it - BAM - turns out I was right. Admittedly, I performed a most rambunctious Irish jig of a happy dance in my living room as soon as I read the last two pages.
Susanna Kearsley has blown me away for the second time. Mariana possessed the intrigue and mystery I had hoped for and made me long for a time that is not my own. Her use of prose flows as poetry in word choice. It's stripped down to a simple nature, words that we know but just don't use in everyday language and it is a loss for us and she does it smashingly. Example - everyone's heart beats hard in their chest. With Kearsley, the heart thumps hard against the rib cage and into the throat. It's so much more powerful.
Rich texture and colors abound in this novel and the characters are even more rich. Two particular events I did not see coming and one of them will haunt me and not in a good way. Given the nature of the character, it was a pivotal point, but reader be warned, it is intense and you must be strong. The other twist I LOVED and I was ecstatic to see play out.
The change between Julia's life and Mariana's life is so smooth yet so harsh and most importantly, SO real. The blossoming love between Mariana and Richard and the friendship with Rachel and Evan are so fulfilling I wish I could be a part of their world.
Reincarnation - whether you believe in it or not doesn't matter. Susann Kearsley will sway your mind and open the door to the possibilities of finding your lost love from centuries ago.
Overall, I can't say I enjoyed this as much as 'Winter Sea' but it is just as thought provoking and wonderful and I cannot recommend it enough. Kearsley's ability to transport you between now and what ever century she chooses is effortless and I look forward to reading her other novels with baited breath.
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