Bellewether

Bellewether

by Susanna Kearsley

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492637134
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 14,668
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and RITA award winner, Susanna Kearsley is known for her meticulous research and exotic settings from Russia to Italy to Cornwall, which not only entertain her readers but give her a great reason to travel. Her lush writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne Du Maurier, and Diana Gabaldon. She hit the bestseller lists in the U.S. with The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden, both RITA finalists and winners of RT Reviewers' Choice Awards. Other honors include finaling for the UK's Romantic Novel of the Year Award, National Readers' Choice Awards, and the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize. Her popular and critically-acclaimed books are available in translation in more than 20 countries and as audio books. She lives in Canada, near the shores of Lake Ontario.

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Bellewether 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
suekitty13 9 months ago
Susanna Kearsley never fails to blow me away with the sheer level of historical detail and characters that draw me in to their story and make me care. Bellewether is no exception. The writing was so immersive that I could smell the sea air and feel the excitement as ships sail into the harbour. As usual for this author there are two timelines that are connected by a shared geographical location, in this case that place is Long Island. I enjoyed both timelines immensely although I have to admit that the historical story had me full of trepidation. The stakes were so high for the characters and they were in peril so often that returning to the modern timeline was often a relief. In the modern story we get a lovely romance and some museum politics both of which I could not have enjoyed more. In this type of dual timeline I am usually more invested in the historical story but in this one I liked them both equally. I was certain that I knew how the historical romance would turn out and had prepared myself for the worst, the young lovers were known haunt the land as ghosts after all so obviously they came to tragic ends. Happily their story is a bit more complicated and I was genuinely surprised by how it all worked out. Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Bellewether was everything I expected, and did not expect it to be. A story woven with characters I could see and feel, and the history of families separated in the past and the present. I love the detail that Susanna Kearsley puts into her writing; painting the scenes in my mind where I can follow her characters unerringly to the rooms and landscape they inhabit. These new shores transport me to places I (most likely) will ever see, but get to visit anyway! My only regret was that it ended. I will console myself with re-reading the rest of her collection until her next masterpiece.
Anonymous 10 days ago
I am never disappointed by this author and each book she writes is my new favorite.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Loved the blend of past and present
nanadiane 16 days ago
So... who is the old woman at the end of the book? i must have missed something. Susanna Kearsley did an amazing job of character analysis till the end. Somehow I don't get the lack of character description at the closing of this book.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Loved the story and the characters.
MaggyBerlin 6 months ago
Excellent read. I enjoyed the dry humor, which is more evident in this book than others. You wont be disappointed!
Anonymous 7 months ago
I love all your books! This one is wonderful. I love the way you were able to tell the good and evil’s of people. I am from the south of USA and was taught and they still do teach it from a point that only the south had slaves. Real History is different so I taught this to my children. Loved this book and learned new and interesting things. Great Job!
NovelKim 7 months ago
The book opens in Long Island in 1682 at The Wilde House, and introduces the reader to the first generation of Wildes to live in the New World. However the focus is on the second generation, the family of Zebulon Wilde, during the mid eighteenth century, a time of the War between England and France which left its mark on much of New York. There is some discussion and explanation of the process of French Canadian prisoners being housed in New York following their capture hoping for repatriation which almost always meant to France and not to their homeland. The Wilde House made and held secrets through the centuries and the present part of the story tries to tease out their meaning and importance. The structure is tricky. Each chapter is told sequentially by Charley (Charlotte Van Hoek) the present day curator of the Wilde House, Lydia the daughter of Zebulon Wilde, and Jean-Philippe a French Canadian Prisoner of War interred at the Wilde House. The present part of the book explains why Charley finds herself in Long Island, far from her home in Toronto. While she may be a stranger to the community her family has been a cornerstone for generations. Her appointment as Curator of the Wilde House has not been with a resounding vote of confidence. She faces an uphill battle but along with her detractors she has strong allies. The backstory relates important issues of the time - slavery and the Slave Conspiracy, Acadian refugees and their place in mid-eighteenth country life, privateering and piracy and of course the varying degrees of loyalty to the crown. Unfortunately much of the past, so essential to the present, plods while the present is a bit too young and brash and trite. The series of misconceptions takes forever to untangle and I was left wondering how anything would have been unraveled without the intervention of the ghost/spirit. Wait, did I forget to mention the light in the trees that beckoned to the ships off the coast, the door that keeps shutting, the books that get moved? Having read most of Susanna Kearsley’s previous books I found Bellewether disappointing. It was wordy and very slowly paced. The parts felt separate and the complete story never seems to completely mesh. I did enjoy the history lesson and her meticulous research. Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks for a copy.
Anonymous 8 months ago
More of the ghost story and the love stories were so stretched they didn
Faerytalemegan 8 months ago
Susanna Kearsley writes yet another lush saga in her newest novel Bellewether! Ms. Kearsley has become an “auto buy” author for me ever since I discovered The Winter Sea a few years ago. I love that these secular novels are fairly clean with such amazing writing. I have devoured all of her work since and my only complaint is that this novel took so long to be released! Ms. Kearsley includes evocative descriptions and the setting (an old house on Long Island, New York) is almost like a character in and of itself. This is the type of story for when you want to sit back and be immersed in another time and place. It is slower paced and Ms. Kearlsey takes her time describing particular settings and historical circumstances in minute detail. But that richness of detail is one of the things her readers love about her books. This is a dual-timeline novel, where one story takes place in the present and the other in the past; but both stories are connected. The love stories are so romantic and they take so long to develop that you can feel the tension between the characters. It’s also very touching how love builds between two people who can’t speak the same language. The contemporary story reminds me a bit of Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls and their relationship. There are so many great themes and messages that one can take away from reading Bellewether. Both the present and past stories have similarities and echo these same themes. Bellewether shows how wars can divide families, and deals with issues of slavery and racism. There is an amazing message of not turning your back on your family, especially when they need you. Bellewether also conveys the message of not dwelling on the past so much that you miss what’s in front of you and of learning to be happy with the life one’s been given. I absolutely loved this story and recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and romance! Content: This is a fairly clean read for a secular novel in this genre. Overall, I would give it a PG-13 rating for some mild content. Some examples of the content are: mention of men drinking ale; minor curse words are used; mention of a woman possibly drowning herself; men speak curses but the words aren’t actually written; people drink alcohol; a man struggles with what seems to be PTSD; a man beats a slave; the N word for an African American is used in historical context; mention of past sexual and physical abuse, but nothing is described in detail. Rating: I give this book 5 stars! Genre: Historical Fiction; Romance; Dual-Timeline I want to thank NetGalley, Susanna Kearsley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
Faerytalemegan 8 months ago
Susanna Kearsley writes yet another lush saga in her newest novel Bellewether! Ms. Kearsley has become an “auto buy” author for me ever since I discovered The Winter Sea a few years ago. I love that these secular novels are fairly clean with such amazing writing. I have devoured all of her work since and my only complaint is that this novel took so long to be released! Ms. Kearsley includes evocative descriptions and the setting (an old house on Long Island, New York) is almost like a character in and of itself. This is the type of story for when you want to sit back and be immersed in another time and place. It is slower paced and Ms. Kearlsey takes her time describing particular settings and historical circumstances in minute detail. But that richness of detail is one of the things her readers love about her books. This is a dual-timeline novel, where one story takes place in the present and the other in the past; but both stories are connected. The love stories are so romantic and they take so long to develop that you can feel the tension between the characters. It’s also very touching how love builds between two people who can’t speak the same language. The contemporary story reminds me a bit of Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls and their relationship. There are so many great themes and messages that one can take away from reading Bellewether. Both the present and past stories have similarities and echo these same themes. Bellewether shows how wars can divide families, and deals with issues of slavery and racism. There is an amazing message of not turning your back on your family, especially when they need you. Bellewether also conveys the message of not dwelling on the past so much that you miss what’s in front of you and of learning to be happy with the life one’s been given. I absolutely loved this story and recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and romance! Content: This is a fairly clean read for a secular novel in this genre. Overall, I would give it a PG-13 rating for some mild content. Some examples of the content are: mention of men drinking ale; minor curse words are used; mention of a woman possibly drowning herself; men speak curses but the words aren’t actually written; people drink alcohol; a man struggles with what seems to be PTSD; a man beats a slave; the N word for an African American is used in historical context; mention of past sexual and physical abuse, but nothing is described in detail. Rating: I give this book 5 stars! Genre: Historical Fiction; Romance; Dual-Timeline I want to thank NetGalley, Susanna Kearsley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
Caljane 8 months ago
This is probably the best 3-star rating I ever read. Susanna Kearsley manages it to draw me in with just so little actually going on, and makes me fight for tears over almost nothing. The story is written from three Point Of Views, which scared me in the beginning but worked actually very well. Charley is a museum curator who takes on a new project, rebuilding an old house on Long Island and researching the history of especially one famous occupant in the late 19th century. She gets a bit side tracked when she hears a sad love story tied to the ghost who is presumably haunting the house. Charley gets drawn into the story of the famous occupant’s sister, Lydia, and a French-Canadian officer, a prisoner of war, who stayed in this house for a while. The second and third POVs are from Lydia and Jean-Philippe in the last years of the 7-year war. You know this war? I don’t. But I am more than interested to learn a bit about it. Maybe not as much as I did in this book. It’s a fine line between history book and fiction, and I assume Susanna Kearley researched well, but for me, personally, there was too much history. Not that this is a bad thing, though. What was very annoying and made the reading so very very slow was too much filler. Family history of side characters that made a two-paragraph-attendance in the book. Pages of description of surroundings that did not do anything to the story. Family drama that was not drama enough to be so much pondered on. And here comes in the 3-star rating: I would not read this book again, even though I loved the general writing, the characters, the story. I would have preferred a little bit more flow and a little bit more plot. While the progress in the story was very realistic and believable, for fiction I don’t mind a bit more “that happens only in a book”. All this said – I have friends that are less impatient with the action in a book that will LOVE this story. Which is not a romance novel by no means, I would call it a mix of contemporary and historical fiction, family saga, with some romance thrown in. Even if I have my problems with this writing: well done, Mrs. Kearley!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Enjoyed the two storylines and how well they meshed. I loved learning more about this time period of the Seven Years War.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Very good Historical romance during the 7Year and French and Indian war and modern day. Lydia goes to Long Island to start a museum with in a historical house. She discover that there more to the story of the former owners. Good drama,intrigue,mystery and romance. You think you know how the outcome would be but all is not what you see. Really enjoyed. Voluntarily reviewed.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I love this book and this author.You will not regret buying this novel
jdowell 8 months ago
Interesting historical fiction novel. I found it very intriguing that in the 18th century when officers were taken prisoner in the war they would be placed at someone's home on an 'honor' system until they could be exchanged for an officer captured by the other side. Could you imagine the resentment of a family when they had to house a French officer until he could be exchanged - sometimes for months to years? Especially if someone in the family or a close friend had been killed by the enemy. I also found it very interesting how American ships sailed to Monte Christi with their cargo for illegal trade with France. Many active international issues in the 1700's. There are two story lines here as there are in many of Kearsley's books: one set in the 1700s and one in present day. The story line set in the 1700s was the most intriguing for me, but I did enjoy both. My favorite character was Lydia who seemed extremely sharp and multi-talented. There were a couple of places I found a little slow, but I became interested again fairly quick. Thanks to Susanna Kearsley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark through Netgalley for an advance copy.
LoudMindReviews 9 months ago
A family tragedy brings Charley Van Hoek to Millbank where she moves in to her brother’s home to help with the upkeep and to keep an eye on his 19 year old daughter, Rachel. Being a curator, she is offered a job at the Wilde House which is being turned into a museum that catalogues the lives of the Wilde family that lived there during the late 1750s. Many stories and myths surrounding the Wilde’s have spread over time, one of them being the tale of Zebulon Wilde’s youngest child, Lydia, and her forbidden romance with the French officer, Jean-Phillipe, who is billeted at their Long Island home during the war. It is said that while trying to flee together, Julia’s brother, Joseph, catches them in the act and kills the French officer, leaving his ghost to wander the paths through the woods around the Wilde home forevermore. But, as renovations take place on the museum and items are uncovered it becomes clear to Charley that the version of events surrounding Lydia and Jean-Phillipe may be incorrect and she is determined to set the story straight. Bellewether is told in parallel between Charley in modern day, and Julia and Jean-phillipe in the 1700s. As Charley uncovers more clues as to what truly happened between the two, we are also being told the true story by the original family as it unfolds. I loved the way this book was split between modern and historical times. I also loved how Susanna Kearsley linked the lives of Charley and Lydia in subtle ways. As the romance was unfolding between Lydia and Jean-Phillipe, Charley is also finding herself romantically inclined towards one of the workers at the Wilde House museum. I admit to enjoying the historical timeline more than Charley’s story, but I enjoyed this book as a whole, immensely. Kearlsey has a beautiful writing style and complex characters that you can relate to and come to care about very much. I think she also did a fabulous job with her research, staying as true to the time period as possible. If you like romance, historical romance, or forbidden love, this book is definitely for you.