Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley (Allison and Busby)
Celia Sands is a young actress in London trying to ‘make it’ and her lucky break finally comes when she is asked to play an unusual, once-in-a-lifetime, major role.
She is asked to travel to Italy to perform in the late playwright, Galeazzo D'Ascanio’s production – The Season of Storms.
The play was written more than 100 years before by D'Ascanio for his beautiful mistress. Tragically, and very mysteriously, she disappears on the night that the play was set to open. Her name, coincidently, was also Celia Sands.
The story surrounds Celia Sands the second, together with the group of actors who stay and work on the villa above Lake Garda in Italy. If you enjoy armchair travel then you will love this novel as it’s full of wonderful visual descriptions of the beautiful Mediterranean landscape.
As idyllic is it sounds, strange things begin to happen at the Lake, which make you wonder if Celia the first has really disappeared.
The novel is filled with eery, supernatural elements which - if you scare easily, don’t make for an easy night’s sleep. Trust me.
The book flashes back many times to the past in the voice of D'Ascanio and allows the reader to delve deeper into what really happened that fateful night when Celia the first disappeared.
There’s a great build-up of suspense and it’s one of those books where all is eventually revealed right at the end. A healthy dose of romance adds to the intrigue with Celia finding herself being the centre of a rather complicated love triangle.
The book focuses heavily on the arts and makes many references to the theatre world, which gives nice insight into an actor's "daily grind." It appears they work long hours too!
Kearsley's use of dialogue brings each character to life and scenes melt seamslessly into each other, making it feel like a you are watching a movie in your head.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes spooky ghost stories, drama, romance and mystery.
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