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....
First published in 2001, this lush novel of romantic suspense from Kearsley (The Splendour Falls) intertwines contemporary and historical narratives in northern Italy. In 1921, actress Celia Sands disappears for good just before opening night of the play written for her by her famous lover, Galeazzo D'Ascanio. Some 50 years later, the writer's wealthy grandson, Alessandro D'Ascanio, decides to produce the play in the same setting: the theater his grandfather built on the family estate, Il Piacere. He invites a struggling young British actress also named Celia Sands, in homage to the earlier performer, to play the lead. Celia arrives at Il Piacere to find that two of its servants have gone missing, her predecessor's ghost walks, and many of those around the estate including D'Ascanio, to whom she's strongly attracted conceal dark secrets. The rich historical mystery and brooding atmosphere more than compensate for the improbable, overly elaborate premise.
Haunting Love Story
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley was originally published in 2001. I am delighted they decided to re-publish it because it is a timeless story and I enjoyed it very much. The intertwining stories take place in the past and the present and both revolve around an actress named Celia Sands although they are not related. Alessandro D’Ascanio is the grandson of a famous poet who’s love affair with the first Celia Sands created legends that are surrounded in mystery. When he decides to renovate his grandfathers estate and theatre it seems fitting to cast Celia Sands a young London actress in the role that was written for her namesake. Mystery, murder and intrigue seem to haunt the isolated villa in Italy where the play will be performed. The book is over 400 pages and I devoured it in less than 24 hours because I did not want to put it down. Mild steam. Publishing Date June 25, 2019 #NetGalley #SeasonofStorms #SusannaKearsley #SimonandSchusterCanada