Tuesday, July 7, 2009
A Time-traveling treasure...Now and Then
Now and Then
By Jacqueline Sheehan
Avon Books; $13.99
With the overwhelming popularity of books with other-worldly themes, such as vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, etc., it’s not too farfetched to find a novel about a contemporary heroine getting caught up in time travel. In Jacqueline Sheehan’s latest novel, “Now and Then,” she hones this quirky subject to a finer edge with a brilliant tale that will captures reader’s imaginations.
Anna O’Shea was at a point in her life where things had to get better, because they couldn’t get much worse. A recent divorcee, Anna had just returned from a harrowing flight from Ireland when she learned her only brother had been in a horrendous accident resulting in massive head injuries, and her 16-year old nephew, Joseph, needs to be picked up from jail.
After checking on her brother and retrieving her errant nephew, Anna hopes to be able to squeeze in a few hours of sleep before hitting other family crises head on. But her plans go awry when she wakes up to find Joseph going through her suitcases. As Anna and Joseph tussle over a partially opened package, the two suddenly find themselves hurtling through time and space to wake up separated in 19th century pre-potato famine Ireland.
Anna is found injured along the coastline, and is taken in by the local blacksmith, Tom, and his wife Glennis. As she struggles to recover from her injuries and confusion, Anna is desperate to find out what happened to Joseph, who seems to have disappeared during their “journey.”
Joseph ended up miles away from Anna, and was discovered by an wealthy Englishman’s servant and brought to the manor house for recovery. The wily teenager leads the household into believing he is a highly educated young man, and they treat him with the highest honor and respect. Quite the change from his reality back home where he was at the bottom of the high school pecking order
As Anna and Joseph adjust and adapt to their new situations, they both soon discover new strengths and qualities about themselves that had long been buried. But as fate and circumstances work to pull the two visitors from another era together, both find that it will be hard to return to their lives in the 21st century, if they can get back at all.
Jacqueline Sheehan has taken the subject of time travel, and combining it with an indepth look at Irish/British history to deliver a novel that is thoughtful, passionate and fascinating. There is an element of romance, as Anna and Joseph both find love in the most unlikely place, but bear in mind – this is no flighty romance. “Now and Then” is an amazing work of literary fiction to be savored and enjoyed.