Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Book Review: Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley 

Source: Paperback from my collection

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars :star :star :star

Publication Date: 2012 (originally in 1994)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

From the winner of the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, this mesmerizing, suspenseful, and richly atmospheric tale of time travel draws us into the heart of a heroine we won't soon forget...

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.

As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.

Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past...until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.

My Review

While it took me a little over a month to finish this book, it was more my short attention span and getting derailed by other review books that accounts for it. The story itself was really something. I enjoyed the characters so much! I especially liked the serious plot twist and how things sort of creeped up on you. But, more about that later.

The Winter Searemains my favorite Susanna Kearsley book, I'm so happy to have read another one of her lovely books. Even though this one isn't my favorite I feel more confident that she is an author that will be on my "auto-buy" list from now one. 

As always, I like to talk a little about HOW / what made me choose this book out of so many hundreds of others on my shelf. I feel like there's always a bit of a winding road I have to take to finally choose a book to read that isn't a review book, you know? :O 

When I found myself in a serious historical fiction / time travel / laced with romance mood, I knew I need a novel set in an adult world setting. I was/am sick of middle grade books at the moment. I instantly looked up and down my bookshelves and came upon this (ok and several others). But I just felt like I wanted to read this before I read Firebird, to get a different story and different character rendering to better appreciate and understand the author. Seriously. I've been in such a YA and middle grade kick this past year that my recent venture back into adult historical has really been fun and exciting!

So: What can you expect from this stand alone historical time travel-- Mariana?

Our main character: Julia Beckett

and the figure of her in the past, Mariana.

Mariana was at first a bit dull. I didn't look forward to those brief glimpses back in time to be honest. Blah blah she was in a household where she had an uncle who was very strictly religious and mean and just a big fat jerk. Fortunately the handsome hottie lord-of the area took an eye to her and their romance blossomed. Although the romance didn't seem forced, it did come quickly!
What didn't trouble me about the romance though, was that it did seem to develop naturally and by the end…wow I really felt their connection and when it contrasted to the present day and who our beautiful Julia was to love, I felt like something was missing.

PLOT TWISTS, GALORE in this book! 

And I loved that SO SO MUCh. 

TOO MUCH to tell you, like, anything else about the end or even anything more than just…this book has ana amazing plot. Amazing setting. Amazing characters.

I felt a little miffed just because it was one of those books where everything was a bit too "perfect" you know? The woman of course has money, and has a great job as an illustrator for children's books (she paints) (color me green with envy :g) She has a fantastic brother, parents who are happy and away all the time. She is able to buy this house that calls to her and she just sets up there from London.

I just felt like … ugh, I guess a bit envious? She immediately fell into place with people of the town and formed bonds and friendships.

Of course this happens in real life, right? No, seriously I am asking. Does it? I am her age, and she had what I wanted and what I dream would happen to me So in short, I was wistful and a bit envious of the main character all the time. Does that make me petty? Probably.

But who wouldn't want to just up and move to the middle of England…in the middle of the moors…and come upon a beautiful house that calls to them from time and then fall in love with a gorgeous man and make a best friend. *sigh* :L

You can see how this book is just set up beautifully — you will want to live there.
You will want to be the character (if you are at all like me, anyway).
I like that in a book though, you know why? Because it transports me. It makes me imagine things I usually am too wrapped up in to let myself dream of and imagine.

Ah, fiction, this is why I love you! 

I recommend this novel for fans of historical fiction novels with a touch of romance, time travel, and a glorious setting that will transport you back in time. 

If you're already a fan of Susanna Kearsley's work at all, then this is an auto-add for your TBR.
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(aka Dee) has loved reading for as long as she can remember. She loves many things: fantasy novels, young adult fiction, her cat, painting, and horror films from the 70s. Diamond is a grad student at UCLA. She's pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science.


  1. I'm a huge Susanna Kearsley fan as well, but Mariana was definitely not my favorite. I think that title goes to The Firebird or A Desperate Fortune.

    1. Yeah, I can definitely see that. I am going to read The Firebird next probably! But I also have A Desperate Fortune lol. :P Thanks for stopping by Sarah!

  2. I love that there are lots of plot twists and I'm loving historical fiction at the moment too so I'll go ahead and add this to the TBR. And maybe life is that perfect for some people but to be honest I only see it movies and books. The rest of us have to cope with lots of annoyances and not so perfect families!

    1. YUP! It was definitely one of those books that I call a “guilty pleasure” because you know it’s just so unrealitic and there are reasons why I Should roll my eyes but at the same time it’s good and enjoyable :) I think you should read The Winter Sea too! Perhaps first?


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