In this intriguing novel filled with romance and mystery, a young actress travels to a lakeside villa in northern Italy for the role of a lifetime only to find herself haunted by the ghost of a missing woman—from the New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author Susanna Kearsley.
When promising young actress Celia “Sullivan” Sands receives a letter from Italy offering her the lead role in a play, she is baffled. The invitation from Alessandro D’Ascanio is curiously addressed to her under her real name, which she has long kept secret.
D’Ascanio is planning to stage the first performance of his grandfather Galeazzo D’Ascanio’s masterpiece at an isolated villa on Lake Garda. The stunning play—Galeazzo’s final work—was written in the early 1900s for his muse and mistress, his most enduring obsession: the original Celia Sands. But the night before she was to take the stage in the leading role, she vanished without a trace.
Now, decades later, her namesake accepts the part and travels to Italy. She is instantly drawn to the mysteries surrounding the play—and to her compelling, compassionate employer. But as she settles into the role, she begins to wonder if what happened to the first Celia will come back to haunt her....
Praise for Bellewether
“This new title from New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley grapples with the largest of themes: love and justice. Kearsley, a former museum curator, possesses a deep passion for historical detail, and an unflinching determination to confront the atrocities of the past. As such, this narrative is as much an anti-slavery tract as it is a romance.”
“Kearsley has written a compelling and intricate character-driven story.”
“Her prose is beautifully crafted and evocative of character, time and place.”
“Kearsley deftly interweaves a compelling contemporary romance with a sweeping historical drama, and the fantastic with the realistic, to create a richly nuanced, delicately balanced novel that will not only satisfy her regular readers but seems well-positioned to win new converts to her unique approach to fiction. . . . The Firebird is the sort of book one wants to curl up within and savour.”
“[A] deft blending of romance and the Gothic. . . . lush with romantic and ghostly threads.”
“Kearsley is nothing less than a magician weaving together the past and the present in yet another marvelous, genre-bending, romantic, mysterious, and utterly unputdownable novel. You’ll be captivated by the history, the secrets, the memorable heroines, and one of the cutest dogs to show up on the pages in a long time. Kearsley raises the bar book to book, and this is one of her most ambitious and successful ever. Bravo!”
“I’ve loved every one of Susanna’s books! She has bedrock research and a butterfly’s delicate touch with characters—sure recipe for historical fiction that pulls you in and won’t let go!”
Praise for A Desperate Fortune
“Fascinating, immersive and twisty—twists not only of plot, but of character and time. I love a novel that deals with codes and ciphers, and the other ways in which people keep their secrets.”
“An enchanting story told with wit and dexterity . . . The Firebird has it all: love, intrigue, twists, betrayal, and unexpected outcomes. . . . This is a book to remember.”
“Kearsley has conjured a story that will stay with you long after you put it down. Her deft touch with historical intrigue is matched only by her delivery of a contemporary heroine who is as unique as she is memorable.”
Praise for Season Of Storms
“If you liked The French Lieutenant’s Woman, you’ll love this.”
“The latest historical romance from acclaimed Ontario author Susanna Kearsley crackles with imagination. . . . With intrigue and verve, Kearsley has penned what is sure to become another bestseller.”
“The romance is subtle, and the prose is lovely, evoking the charm and elegance of the Italian countryside.”
“Within a few paragraphs, you realize you are in the hands of a master storyteller: Kearsley’s novels are accessible but challenging, narratively propulsive but thoughtful. . . . This is smart historical fiction which isn’t afraid to assume the best of its readers.”
Praise for The Firebird
“Kearsley brings historical figures and events to life in this artfully crafted, exquisitely detailed tale, laced with a heady mix of intrigue and romance.”
“Educates as it entertains, and manages to be wonderfully romantic at the same time.”
Praise for The Shadowy Horses
“Susanna Kearsley’s best. . . . A brilliant book!”