"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,
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,
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
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
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
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.
Copyright © 2000
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted March 24, 2002