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REVIEW

"Mesmerizing, A Complex Tale of Timeless Love"

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON is Ms. White's debut novel. I was mesmerized by this story from nearly the first page. Perhaps because the story is written in the first person, I felt as if I was a part of the story from the beginning. In many ways it reminded me of Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER. Not so much in the romance itself, but in the time travel mechanism.

The heroine is the time traveler in this story, but she is not alone. "Travelers" are genetically marked for their ability. They share a common birthmark shaped like a crescent moon on the inside of their arm. The ancients referred to them as "Shadow Warriors".

It is explained that the travel can only occur in a relatively few special places. The device is the energy of a comet appearing in conjunction with a lunar eclipse. The travelers themselves are also rare. Some of them make their journey by accident, as does our heroine. Others are able to harness the power to travel at will.

Laura Truitt and her husband Jack are finally expecting a child after much medical intervention, and will soon be outgrowing their small apartment. Strolling together one afternoon, Laura is taken with a house that seems to call to her. Jack is skeptical, but Laura is not daunted. Both are surprised when the owner, an elderly widow, appears to have been waiting specifically for them before selling her house. Even more surprising is an aged portrait the woman produces of her great grandmother who could be Laura's double. It had been the great grandmother who had instructed the owner to hold the house for her look-alike. It is bizarre, but everything about the decrepit house calls to Laura's soul. It had been the only one to miraculously survive the burnings perpetuated in this small town in Georgia by the conquering Yankees during the Civil War. Laura and Jack's daughter, Annie, is born in the house.

Their happiness is short lived however. Laura is an astronomy buff. There is to be an interesting phenomenon on Moon Mountain one night. A comet will streak the sky at the same moment as a total lunar eclipse is to occur. Laura is determined that they view the event as a family. The humidity is high that night and Jack is reluctant to go, but Laura prevails. The pair and their child arrive at the Mountain but while they wait the heat sends them off to sleep. Laura has strange dreams; she feels she's being somehow pulled away to another place. She awakens abruptly to find her child missing. Extensive searching fails to turn up any clues as to Annie's fate.

The Truitts' lives begin to fall apart. Jack is unable to cope with his grief, taking to the skies in an effort to feel closer to his lost child. Laura has mentally prepared herself for a second major tragedy when it finally occurs, five long years later. She's decided that love only leads to grief and determines to spend the remainder of her life alone. Her mother has different ideas. She suggests that there might be a slim chance that the kidnapper might return with the child under conditions similar to those on the night of Annie's disappearance. Laura holds out no hope, but nevertheless finds herself at Moon Mountain observing yet another astrological double feature. When the pull comes this time, Laura does not resist.

She arrives on the Moon Mountain of the eighteen sixties and puts herself between a young boy and an attacking wildcat. In doing so she gains the gratitude of the boy's uncle, Stuart Elliot, who takes her to his home to see that her wounds are tended to. To Laura's surprise she has come home. The Elliot's are the wartime owners of Laura's home in the future.

The family embraces Laura immediately. Stuart is especially taken with her. Laura is increasingly attracted to Stuart. She adores his family, but she cannot afford to let herself get attached to them. She cannot bear to lose any more loved ones. When she finds her daughter she will leave this place. Unfortunately someone in the house has very different ideas.

Someone had been waiting for Laura on the other side of time, a fellow traveler with a fanatical interest in changing the course of history. She will stop at nothing to insure that her goal is met, and Laura is to be her pawn. Laura and Stuart will face incredible danger, and make grave sacrifices in the name of love. But is love enough, or will Laura's secrets tear them apart for all time? What has become of little Annie? Who was that woman in the photograph? Will Laura finally learn that home is where the heart is?

In the Shadow of the Moon is a complex tale of timeless love. This book made me smile, sigh, and brought me to tears at one point. The author did not offer any easy answers. The readers will experience the heartbreak of loss, the horrors of war, and wrenching personal decisions, but I think they will find the ending very satisfactory indeed. Very Highly Recommended.

Copyright 2000

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted September 4, 2001

SUMMARY

A lunar eclipse. A twentieth-century comet. And suddenly, thoroughly modern Laura Truitt is swept off mysterious Moon Mountain, away from her enchanting Southern home--and over one hundred years into the past. . .

 

In The Shadow Of The Moon
by Karen White

Love Spell
August 1, 2000
ISBN #0505523957
EAN #9780505523952
358 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Karen White

After The Rain
Falling Home
Whispers of Goodbye


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