Reading a Susanna Kearsley novel reminds me a bit of watching a period piece movie like Sense and Sensibility, or Two Rooms with a view. At first I am sitting beside myself, my brain still turning about what happened at work that day, or a conversation I had with my husband over breakfast, but after a few moments, the descriptions of the city, the dialogue between characters, inserts itself into my mind until I am living it with them. My American identity often creates a gap I need to fill in before allowing myself to completely immerse my mind in the foreign landscape, giving my fast paced mind a chance to slow down and reingage if only for a brief time.
Susanna Kearsley has quickly become one of my favorite historical fiction writers exactly because of that pace. She takes time to develop the scene using the most beautiful language, that even the grittiest of characters manages to have a stark kind of beauty.
A synopsis from Susannakearsley.com:
When one of her authors invites her to Wales for the Christmas holidays, literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw hopes to escape the nightmares that have plagued her since the death of her baby five years before. But shortly after she arrives at her host’s house, Lyn meets Elen, an emotionally fragile young widow who’s afraid for her infant son’s safety, and seems to view Lyn as the child’s protector. As Lyn’s dreams become even more disturbing, she forms an unlikely alliance with a reclusive playwright, and is pulled into an ancient world of haunting legends and dangerous prophecies…where she will finally uncover the secret of her dreams.
Named of the Dragon, as with other Susanna Kearsley novels, has a story within a story. This one unwinds on parallel lines with the main character, Lyn Ravenshaws personal tragedy. Lyn is still overcoming the horrible loss of her child who was stillborn. She has a hard time being around children, but finds herself, while on vacation in Wales for the holidays, drawn into the life of a young, troubled mother and her four year old son. Lyn starts having dreams about a woman who is asking her to help save a little boy. The young mother, who seems to have a troubled rather fanciful mind, also thinks Lyn has arrived to help save her son from a Dragon who wants to steal him away. As the story progresses, Lyn discovers a local Legend set around a young king who is stolen away. Kearsley does a wonderful job of intertwining these storylines and at the same time, the reader is becoming more invested in the outcome of each of the characters lives. The romantic in me loves the way her storyline very tidily wraps itself in pretty paper, giving her closure and a love interest for a bright future.
Copyright 2015 Deborah Kehoe all rights reserved.