Thursday, 18 April 2013

Book ~ "Secrets in Time" (2013) Alison Stuart

From Goodreads ~ When a seventeenth century cavalier hurls himself over her garden wall, Doctor Jessica Shepherd is more angry than surprised. No stranger to military re-enactors, there is something different about Nathaniel Preston. If he is to be believed, something ... or someone ... has sent him forward in time from the midst of a civil war to the quiet English countryside of the twentieth century.

What is worse than falling for a man with a three hundred year age difference, is the certain knowledge he must return to his own time ... and his death in battle.

Why has he travelled through time to find Jess? Who has sent him? And can Jess save him from his fate?

Jess is relaxing in her backyard when a man, dressed in battle clothes from the distant past, jumps over her garden wall and lands in her flowers.  Her brother, Alan, is part of a group who re-enact battles so his appearance doesn't shock her ... she assumes Nathaniel's part of Alan's group.

“If you could lend me your horse, I would be grateful. It is a long ride home. You have my word that I will return it anon.”

“My horse? I don’t own a horse. Look, Nathaniel, you’ve lost a bit of blood, if you like I can give you a ride home.”

“But you said you had no horse?”

“In the car.” I could not help the exasperation that crept into my voice. His continuing delusion had really begun to concern me. “Nathaniel, look at me. What year do you think this is?”

“The year of our lord 1645.”

“1645?” I stared at him. “Nathaniel, it is 1995.”

He narrowed his eyes. “No, you jest.” He sank onto the kitchen chair, his eyes glassy.

“I do not jest. Now stay there. I’m going to ring my brother. Perhaps he can talk some sense into you.”

Keeping a wary eye on my visitor, I reached for the phone and carried it into the living room while I waited for Alan to pick up.

“Hey, Jess.” Alan greeted me cheerfully.

“Alan, are you busy?”

“I’m correcting papers, nothing I can’t put off. Is this important?”

“I have a man in my kitchen who thinks he is living in 1645,” I whispered.

“Sounds like a case for the psychs, not me.”

“Please come over, Alan. There is something about him...sorry I can’t explain--”

“Is he threatening you?” Alan’s tone was alarmed.

“No, not at all. He’s just a little...confused.”

Nathaniel thinks he is from 1645 ... and it turns out he is.  When he left 1645, he was in the middle of a battle and is wounded.  Jess is a doctor and cleans up his wound.  As he is healing, they try to figure out how to get him back to his own time because he must go back ... if he doesn't, English history and the monarchy would be altered.

In the meantime, Jess introduces him to modern times ... his ancestral home is still intact, though it's now a museum.  And they fall in love.  So Jess is torn between wanting to keep her new found love in the present with her or having to send him back to his own time to his death (he is supposed to die in nine days).

I enjoyed this book.  I liked the writing style and it was a quick read.  It was interesting to read the dialogues and see the differences between the way they spoke ... Nat was very proper and polite.  Because it is a time travel book, you have to leave your sense of belief at the door and go with it.

I liked the characters, Jess and Nat.  Though things happen very quickly between them, it's obvious that they care about each other.

I like reading time travel stories.  I find it interesting to see how people from the past react to the things we take for granted today and how people from today have to make due without our modern conveniences when they go back in time. When Jess suggests Nat take a bath the first night he is there, he responds there is no need because he's already had his bath for the month!  He is mesmerized by the toilet and keeps flushing it.  Eating with a fork baffles him.

I found when the author handled the interaction between Jess and Nat when she was explaining something new to him (like a TV and a remote control) entertaining.  Keep in mind that that story takes place in 1995 and Jess is still listening to a Walkman ... imagine how amazed Nat would be with an iPod!

I recommend this book, especially if you are into time travel and English historical stories.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Maria said...

I too read and reviewed this book and found it really good. It also occurred to me that iPod and laptops would have probably been too much for Nathaniel to take. And what abut the smartphone.

Alison Stuart said...

I normally don't respond publicly to reviews, Teena but I am so pleased that you (and Maria!) liked this book :-)

Teena in Toronto said...

Thanks for stopping by, Alison :)