Season of Storms

Written by Susanna Kearsley
Review by Ellen Keith

Kearsley’s books all have the same elements: a beautiful setting, a romance in tandem with a mystery, and a dash of the supernatural. That being said, though, her books are not formulaic. Season of Storms tells the story of Celia Sands, a young actress tapped to play the lead in a play that went unperformed in the 1920s when the leading lady, also named Celia Sands, disappeared. Celia the First had been the mistress of the playwright, Galeazzo D’Ascanio, and now his grandson Alex is reviving the play on the grounds of the family’s estate in Italy’s Lake District. The present day Celia finds herself haunted by Celia the First, intrigued by Alex, and increasingly concerned about mysterious happenings on the estate.

Kearsley’s strength is in her vivid depiction of people and place: she has added the Italian Lake District to the list of places she makes me want to visit. Less successful are the flashbacks to Galeazzo and the first Celia. There are a few inconsistencies in Galeazzo’s character that are never sorted out, and Celia the First is not as interesting as Celia the Second. Kearsley has written more compelling parallel stories in previous books. Nevertheless, readers new to her will want to read more.