One of the things I have discovered in my writing journey is first, how difficult it was to label what I had written, and two, there are all sorts of categories out there that people don't really know about.
When I realized what I was writing was women's fiction, the next logical step was to dive into as much women's fiction as I could read. I stumbled across Susanna Kearsley on a site, found one of her books and was hooked before I hit chapter two. She will probably show up many times in this weekly feature, and I had planned to start with a different book of hers, but I just finished The Firebird and have to talk about it.
First, the summary from Goodreads: Nicola Marter was born with a gift: when she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When the gallery she works in receives a wooden carving she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird, the mythical bird that inspires an old Russian fairytale and was once owned by Russia’s famed Empress Catherine.
Nicola’s investigation into the Firebird’s origin draws her into the 1715 world of Anna Logan and leads her on a quest through Scotland, France and Russia, unearthing a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption.
Reading the first sentence of this book I knew I was going to love it. There is a paranormal element of it, as seen in the description, but Kearsley's ability to let the reader float from the present to the past, from England and Scotland and Russia in the present to these places in almost 300 years earlier was completely amazing. And then there are the characters, so rich in personality and voice that I couldn't help but adore them very quickly. Kearsley spends quality time researching, and it shows in each of her books, as does the love she has for the different settings she incorporates into her novels.
As a personal love, she weaves in the dialect of the Scottish so well that even though I don't know much of the slang, I feel like I do. I really can't say enough good about this novel. I know that it says it is the second in a series, but I haven't read The Winter Sea yet and didn't feel like I was missing anything in this novel because of that. If you haven't read Kearsley yet, you won't regret starting with this book.