The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks Landmark - Fiction/Historical-Contemporary blend w/a touch of paranormal
Source: From Sourcebooks for review
What The Firebird is about:
Nicola Marter has a special talent. When she touches an object, she sees scenes from its history. Her father has the same ability but revealing his gift caused such anguish he will not speak of it; he has coached Nicola to keep her gift buried deeply.
When a woman arrives at the art gallery at which Nicola works, hoping to sell a Russian carving, Nicola knows she's telling the truth about its origin. But the vision of Empress Catherine handing it to the woman's ancestor is not enough to authenticate its history so the woman goes home disappointed. Then, Nicola finds the woman's scarf and learns something more. Determined to help, she sets off for Scotland to find the one person she knows to be even more gifted than herself.
Together, Nicola and her handsome friend Rob will travel in pursuit of evidence from the past. When the two psychics are thrown together with a common goal, will the romance of their past start anew? Or will Nicola keep running from her ability and the love she gave away?
What I loved about The Firebird:
That was probably a crap description, sorry. I just hate using the publisher's description unless I'm at a total loss for words. I am at a loss about how to describe what I loved about the book because The Firebird is another one of those books that so thoroughly swept me away that I'm tempted to say I loved absolutely everything about it. I adored the characters (especially the hero), the slowly-building romance, the historical context and the story itself. But, there was one thing I didn't love. Just one. Well, no, two.
What I disliked about The Firebird:
It was a little hard to wrap my mind around the concept of two people being so connected that they can actually hear each other's thoughts. In The Firebird, the two characters occasionally speak telepathically. Sometimes they don't even realize they're doing so. Kind of a stretch, I thought. I love the way Susanna Kearsley blends a bit of time travel with a contemporary story, though, and I was not going to let a concept that I found a little unbelievable keep me from enjoying an excellent read. The only other problem I had with The Firebird was the occasional tedious passage. I loved the book but sometimes it was just a tiny bit too detailed and I found myself close to slipping into zone-out mode. That never lasted very long, though.
The bottom line:
Highly recommended - Excellent storytelling, wonderful characterization and stunning historical research make for a terrific, escapist read. The Firebird continues the story of historical characters first introduced in The Winter Sea, a book I absolutely loved. In fact, now I wish I hadn't passed on my copy of The Winter Sea because I'd really like to go back and read it, again. Oh, well. Read them together, if you can, but The Firebird stands alone fine and both are excellent books, perfect for vacation reading.
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