Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan
Anna O’Shea has been having a very bad time of it. After her third miscarriage, her husband left her for the office manager of their dentist’s office. To add salt into that wound, the office manager was already pregnant, something that Anna had desperately wanted to be. Anna leaves home for a bit with her travel-writer friend to England, Scotland, and Ireland. Shortly before leaving Ireland, an old woman hands Anna a package wrapped in paper. There is no time to open it before going home, however, and definitely no time once she gets there. Anna arrives home to messages from her mother that her brother p is in the hospital after having been in a car crash. That isn’t even the worst of it!
It turns out that Patrick’s accident occurred as he was traveling from Massachusetts to New Jersey where his son, Joseph had been arrested and was being held in juvenile hall, he was supposed to pick Joseph up. Anna is dispatched to go pick up her nephew and inform him about his father’s accident. As Patrick is going to be transferred to another hospital, Anna takes Joseph back to her house for a good night’s sleep before they go to see his father. During the night, however, something in Anna’s luggage calls to Joseph. When she wakes up and sees that he has the package from the old woman, she angrily grabs at it and suddenly they are both being whisked back through time to Ireland of 1844, where they become separated and must figure out how to find one another and return to their own time.
I was skeptical for a lot of the first part of the book. I don’t mind a bit of fantasy mixed into my fiction. I loved “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” for instance. I didn’t really feel that initial time travel was well justified. I didn’t have a problem with not yet knowing WHY they went back in time, I figured that would be explained later. What I didn’t believe is how quickly Anna figured out what happened. Even as they were being pulled backwards through time, she thought to herself ‘hey, we’re time traveling!’ I would expect it to take more time, for her to have to figure out what was going on.
Anna and Joseph’s characters started to grow on me partway through the book, however. I liked the way that Sheehan developed them during their time in the past. Their love stories were fairly well drawn, considering that she was trying to develop two separate love stories in the same book. By the end, I would say that I definitely enjoyed the story, particularly the way that Sheehan resolved the question of why they traveled back in time and what resulted from their discovery.
I have four copies of “Now & Then” to giveaway. I’m sending them out myself, so I can send up to 1 of them anywhere in the world, and up to 1 of them to Canada. The other two will be US-only. This giveaway will end Monday, December 7th. Please fill out the following Google Form to enter: