Now and Then

Barely before she has a chance to open her front door, Anna is summoned to the hospital bedside of her brother Patrick. He, roused from bed in the middle of the night to retrieve his misbehaving son, is in a coma injured from a horrific car crash. It's up to Anna to retrieve the misbehaving boy from the juvenile center in New Jersey. When they return home, both grasp the cloth she returned with from Ireland and are cast back in time.

Back of the Book:
Anna O'Shea has failed at marriage, shed her job at a law firm, and she's trying to re-create herself when she and her recalcitrant nephew are summoned to the past in a manner that nearly destroys them. Her twenty-first-century skills pale as she struggles to find her nephew in nineteenth-century Ireland. For one of them, the past is brutally difficult, filled with hunger and struggle. For the other, the past is filled with privilege, status, and a reprieve from the crushing pain of present-day life. For both Anna and her nephew, the past offers them a chance at love.

My Thoughts:
I think I've mentioned this before- I'm not a huge fan of the-going-back-in-time novel.Of course what can one expect from a novel titled Now and Then. This was at the bottom of a bag of books someone had given me and I was getting desperate for reading material. Not something I ever would have picked up off a bookstore shelf.

Now that I've read it- I have to say it wasn't bad. Sheehan's writing style more than makes up for the annoying premise. Her scenes are so descriptive, one could imagine themselves tumbling through the ocean current or sneaking off to sell illegal wine to the French. Both characters grow during the novel in ways they never expected. I do have to say I never lost the urge to smack the nephew from page one all the way to the end.

While I think this could have been a stronger novel had the author gone in a different direction, Now and Then is still a worthwhile read and will keep the reader going to the very end. I liked it enough to read another Sheehan- although this time no time travel. Thank Goodness.




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