I've been known to have issues with multiple stories playing out within the same work; often it has to do with the overwhelming number of them just as much as the way the writer handled relaying them to us. Such was not the case here... (woo hoo!) Right from the start, we're caught up in a story of yesterday year, Alice and Mary, and a tangle of the present, Rose and Dan. Though those listed are primary players, don't be fooled...those of a slightly lesser focus are no less important. As both stories unfold parallel to each other yet many many moons apart, bouncing between history and the here and now doesn't seem confusing in the least. The breaks are clear, the character's voices unique, and the drama, while abundant, equally their own.
travel from beach to water and change at the same time!
Once upon the 1800's...Alice was betrothed to a man 20+ years her senior. There was no love between them, merely an arrangement that "made sense"...I use quotations because, well, yeah, totally doesn't make sense, but such were the times. She and her lady maid Mary set off for a seaside escape to clear her mind and regain her footing in preparation for the pending nuptials, but sometimes fresh air and a new perspective changes a person's life in more ways than they can imagine...such is certainly the case here. The events that unfold are gasp inducing (an asylum?! ulterior motives?!), smirk generating (the switcheroo! the final boat ride!), and backbone strengthening (oh the things we learn from letters!)...and watching BOTH ladies gain control of their lives for once, even with a potential sudden (and final!) end looming on the horizon, was fantastic! Seriously, I was recounting the story moments after finishing and I got so into it that my "audience" has already added it to their wish list!
Once upon a present day...Rose came to the seaside with her mother to care for her ailing grandmother. Thing is...the fall she recently suffered is gonna be the least of her worries. After almost being mowed down, she finds a happy place spending time with Dan, the bad driver's son. Um, about that happy place...the relationship slowly forming is the happy part, the places they go and things they do...not so much. All their coming together's end in danger, and life threatening situations...and one of these times, it goes a oh so much farther than you'd ever imagine. The spirit and determination these two show in helping not only each other, but family and newly made friends, is heartwarming. I mean, it's not every day the girl you fancy will help you stake out mysterious thugs, explore abandoned asylums, and attempt to rescue you from certain death. Sounds like a keeper...am I right?
All in all, it was a thrilling ride from start to finish. Though I found myself truly enraptured in the history, dying to know what happened next, the present day story definitely had its own fire to content with. All I know is that it's a trilogy and the other two stories have made themselves at home on my own MUST READ list...how about yours?
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES...