"A Time Travel Unique in Plot and Characters"

I thought this story was rather unique both in plot and in the fact that it had three main characters. It is also written in such a way that keeps the reader turning pages. In fact the tale unwinds in such a way that it is difficult to review without giving too much away. One really doesn't know for sure what is really going on until the heroine does, which is very near the end of the book. The reader will undoubtedly speculate from time to time, but the odds are they'd be guessing wrong.

West Virginia, June 2000

Broadway actress Emily Forster has returned home following her grandmother's funeral. The old Victorian house had been in the Forster family for generations. Emily had been raised there by her grandparents following her parent's death in a tragic accident, an accident that had nearly claimed Emily as well. Emily had spent many happy hours in the house's attic with her best friend, dressing up in the period clothing of her distant cousin Elinor, who had also died tragically, along with her young and handsome new husband, in a mysterious fire. Legend had it that the deaths had been a murder/suicide - Nicholas Langford, Emily's husband being the supposed culprit. Emily has never believed this story, painting Nicholas in her mind as the perfect romantic hero.

Emily soon finds that she has little desire to return to her new life in New York, though she knows she must. It is not just homesickness or guilt at having left her grandmother behind, nor is it the fact that she has just ended a long-standing relationship ... strange forces are at work. Emily begins to see things, have strange dreams and visions, all of which connect somehow to Elinor and Nicholas. First it is a new house that appears and disappears on the opposite shore, where the burned rubble of the Langford house had stood for 100 years. Then Emily begins to have memory lapses. Time passes which she cannot remember, and she awakens with a sense of having been loved by Nicholas. She hears Nicholas calling out, not to her but to Elinor, he even phones late at night crying out to his beloved to come back to him. She begins to see herself in the mirror in dressed in clothing from another time, or awakens from a spell with souvenirs of the past on her person. Determined to snap out of her obsession for a man that has been dead for a century, she agrees to date. Though her date is pleasant he isn't Nicholas.

Emily has begun to doubt her sanity, but soon she is not the only one who is seeing things. A mysterious fog reveals the vision of the house across the water to her friends as well. Then evil things begin to happen. It's as if two forces are fighting over Emily, one compelling her to the past, the other trying to prevent her interference in it.

West Virginia, 1899

Elinor Forster is swept off her feet by the handsome Nicholas Langford, even though his family is considered by the residents of the town to be extremely strange. Nicholas had spotted Elinor upon the shore opposite his home, had watched her and waited for the courage to approach her. It is love at first sight for both when he does. Nicholas' mother had had a much grander union in mind, and does everything in her power to discourage Elinor when Nicholas is not watching. She is mean spirited, spiteful, and often threatening. Elinor suspects the woman is capable of true evil but does not wish to hurt Nicholas with her suspicions. Nicholas loves his odd family and is blind to their faults. Strange things begin to happen to Elinor, things that should have had deadly results, too many to be coincidental. She begs Nicholas to take her far away. Though saddened, Nicholas agrees for he loves her deeply.

Strangely Emily's spells and visions appear to coincide with these dangerous happenings to Elinor. It is as if she has some cosmic connection with her distant cousin of the past.

The tragic fire that claimed both Nicholas and Elinor had occurred nearly 100 years ago on July 4, 1900, and as Independence Day approaches in the new millennium, Emily begins to realize that she is being compelled to do something to change the events of the past. She knows that this will involve great risk to herself, especially if she fails. What she does not realize is how important success is to the rest of her own life. The ending is a surprise but I think it will be a welcome one.

May 2000
Copyright © 2000

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted March 24, 2002


Emily Foster returns to the old Victorian home where she grew up hearing the stories of star-crossed lovers Nicholas Langford and Emily’s ancestor, Elinor Foster.

Emily becomes increasingly obsessed by thoughts of Nicholas, and she is pulled back into his time in the person of Elinor.

Upon returning to her own time, Emily learns from a local soothsayer that she needs to go back to 1897 to right a wrong and save the lives of Elinor and Nicholas.


When the Lilacs Bloom
by Linda Colwell

Avid Press
January 1, 2000
Available: November 9, 2006
ISBN #1929761309
EAN #9781929761302
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Linda Colwell

Journeys of the Heart

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