Season of Storms

Season of Storms

3.8 13
by Susanna Kearsley

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A mystery trapped in time
In 1921, infamous Italian poet Galeazzo D'Ascanio wrote his last and greatest play, inspired by his muse and mistress, actress Celia Sands. On the eve of opening night, Celia vanished, and the play was never performed.

Now, two generations later, Alessandro D'Ascanio plans to stage his grandfather's masterpiece and has offered

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A mystery trapped in time
In 1921, infamous Italian poet Galeazzo D'Ascanio wrote his last and greatest play, inspired by his muse and mistress, actress Celia Sands. On the eve of opening night, Celia vanished, and the play was never performed.

Now, two generations later, Alessandro D'Ascanio plans to stage his grandfather's masterpiece and has offered the lead to a promising young English actress, also named Celia Sands-at the whim of her actress mother, or so she has always thought. When Celia arrives at D'Ascanio's magnificent, isolated Italian villa, she is drawn to the mystery of her namesake's disappearance-and to the compelling, enigmatic Alessandro.

But the closer Celia gets to learning the first Celia's fate, the more she is drawn into a web of murder, passion, and the obsession of genius. Though she knows she should let go of the past, in the dark, in her dreams, it comes back...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
First published in 2001, this lush novel of romantic suspense from Kearsley (The Splendour Falls) intertwines contemporary and historical narratives in northern Italy. In 1921, actress Celia Sands disappears for good just before opening night of the play written for her by her famous lover, Galeazzo D’Ascanio. Some 50 years later, the writer’s wealthy grandson, Alessandro D’Ascanio, decides to produce the play in the same setting: the theater his grandfather built on the family estate, Il Piacere. He invites a struggling young British actress also named Celia Sands, in homage to the earlier performer, to play the lead. Celia arrives at Il Piacere to find that two of its servants have gone missing, her predecessor’s ghost walks, and many of those around the estate—including D’Ascanio, to whom she’s strongly attracted—conceal dark secrets. The rich historical mystery and brooding atmosphere more than compensate for the improbable, overly elaborate premise. Agent: Shawna McCarthy, Shawna McCarthy Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"a really well crafted piece of fiction." - Historical Novel Society
Susanna Kearsley's elegant, compelling prose makes her a favorite with readers and reviewers alike. In Season of Storms, she gathers an unforgettable cast of characters at a magnificent Italian villa where the handsome, wealthy grandson of a brilliant playwright intends to stage the performance of a lifetime. It's to be the first production ever of his grandfathers greatest work -- a play that featured an unforgettable role written for the man's mistress and was cancelled after the leading lady disappeared without a trace. It's a great opportunity for fledgling actress Celia Sands. It's her first leading role -- and her final chance to work with the great director who has been the closest thing to a father she's ever had. Her one concern is that she may owe the part more to the name she shares with that long-vanished actress than to her own (as yet unproven) talent. The script itself tells a haunting story of a love that reaches beyond death -- a story that soon echoes in Celia's dreams and haunts her waking hours as she struggles to recreate that long lost love. And ghosts from that earlier time may not be the only danger: It soon seems certain that dark forces are at work at the villa here and now.

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5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)

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Season of Storms 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Lady-E More than 1 year ago
Why is it that when people write reviews they want to tell you the whole story??? I just want to know if you liked the book!!!
SunFlowerEyez More than 1 year ago
A lightly gothic-style mystery. One of my favorite authors, Susanna Kearsley never disappoints. However, while I enjoyed this book, I didn’t feel this was one of her strongest. Season of Storms has a bit of gothic feel reminiscent of Mary Stewart, with mystery, murder, intrigue and a bit of romance set in beautiful Italy. Kearsley’s characters are likeable, especially the main character of the modern-day Celia, and the fatherly presences of the two men who helped raise her. Yet, where Kearsley usually incorporates a historical plot entwined with a present-day plot that adds great depth to the story, this one fell flat. The story of the previous Celia Sands was forgettable and didn’t really end up having much to do with the present day story, which I felt was an interesting enough plot just on its own. The twists near the end were also pretty predictable which was surprising for me as Kearsley’s usually keeps me guessing. Yet, don’t get me wrong. This book wasn’t bad by any means. The writing was excellent as always and the plot atmospheric and interesting. I ‘d recommend it to any Kearsley fans or those who enjoy the mystery and/or gothic genres.
Anonymous 28 days ago
Very mediocre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was disappointingly slow! It limped on and on with hardly any action and what did happen was lightweight and boring. I hope it isnt categorized as romance, because the only romantic scene was "his lips lowered to hers". Thats it? The big attraction between them? I just didnt care about any of these people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Almost-Tica More than 1 year ago
I've read a lot of Kearsley's books--loved some, liked some, and some were SO-O-O boring and disappointing.  I didn't really care for this one--it slogged on and on and on without ever catching my interest.  Definitely not one of her best novels.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1921 Italy, playwright Galeazzo D¿Ascanio writes what turns out to be his last play. Since his beloved mistress Celia Sands provides him with the needed inspiration, he bestows on her the honor of starring on opening night in the theater on his estate Il Piacere. However, Celia vanishes on the eve of her opportunity to attain stardom. The show never went on and whether he lost his inspiration or his soul that night, Galeazzo never wrote another play

Galeazzo¿s grandson decides to direct that play at the same theater that it was to first debut. He selects English actress Celia Sands, no relationship, because of her name. When she arrives at Il Piacere the modern day Celia feels an immediate affinity to her namesake especially at night. Unable to let the past stay buried, she obsessively begins to investigate what happened on that fatal night one day before this play was to first be performed.

Known for her background descriptions that feel like panoramic murals that enhance her starring charcaters, Susanna Kearsley paints a multi-layered vista. The Poe-like past counterbalances with the vivid energy of the present so that the reader is hooked in such a way that they feel they are on the grounds of the Italian estate in the now and in 1921. The modern day Sara is quite a card, as she knows that it is better to leave the past alone but cannot do it. Her compulsion turns SEASON OF STORMS into a somber Gothic like novel that verifies why Susanna Kearsley is an award-winning author.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1920¿s Italy, Galeazzo D¿Ascanio was unable to see the performance of his wonderful play, Il Prezzo. Celia Sands, his beautiful English mistress and star of the play, vanished without a trace the night before the opening performance.

Now, some eighty years later, Alessandro 'Alex' D¿Ascanio, grandson of Galeazzo, has contacted Celia Sands, a struggling young English actress, asking that she perform the lead in Il Prezzo, a never performed play. The Forlani Trust is restoring Il Piacere, Galeazzo¿s magnificent villa on Lake Garda, and the play will be performed at an outdoor theater there.

Celia isn¿t certain that she should take this role, since it appears that she is desired merely because she possesses the same name as the original Celia. But her mentor, pseudo-guardian and director Rupert does his best to quietly persuade Celia to take this part. And Celia ventures off to Italy and the disquiet of Il Piacere. The maid thinks that Celia¿s room has ghosts of its own even as Celia seems drawn to Alex whose comings and goings lend an air of mystery to the place. Add to the mix Daniela Forlani, whose possessiveness of Alex alludes to Francesca, Galeazzo¿s wife, who was jealous of his relationship with Celia.

Written in the first person, SEASON OF STORMS is a top-notch suspenseful novel that evolves into a truly riveting read. The mystery is not in the form of cliffhangers but a more slow-paced discovery of clues that will fall into place like the pieces of a puzzle. Rich with evocatively descriptive language, SEASON OF STORMS will transport you to another place, where murder and ghosts are a distinct probability.