Brittish actress Celia Sands is selected for a major role in a stage play, in part because she has the same name as the woman whom the story was written about long ago.

The autobiographical play is to be performed in a castle in Venice where the author and his beloved Celia spent their love filled days. But that Celia, who lived at the turn of the century, passed away before she could ever perform.

Susanna Kearsley builds a moody bridge between the darkly erotic past and the gothic present. The subtle inclusion of architectural description, cultural history, and literary allusion throughout a strong first person narrative tells the story of the past and illuminates the present. If you liked The French Lieutenants Woman, youll love this suspenseful, often better, novel. (Aug., 448 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Bewnninger