"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
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
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
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
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