Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Stitch in Time

A Stitch in Time / Kelley Armstrong
Oklahoma City: KLA Fricke, 2020

I'm not a regular reader of Kelley Armstrong's books -- I know they're really popular and well done, but I just haven't got into them. This one, however, immediately interested me. It's very different from her usual style, in fact, it's just what I like a lot; it's a time travel love story centred around a English country house. All the things I love in this kind of fiction! 

So of course I had to read it right away. It was so enjoyable, and set in England, as all great books with this premise seem to be ;) It features Canadian academic Bronwyn Dale, who has just inherited Thorne Manor from her great-aunt. She travels to England to sort her inheritance, although she's quite anxious about returning to a house she hasn't been to after a tragedy when she was 15, a haunted house that holds dark memories for her. 

It also holds memories of her childhood friend, William Thorne, a boy who she encountered regularly until the age of 15, but who nobody else believed actually existed. After being sent for psychological evaluation at age 15, she's convinced herself that everyone around her was right, until she returns, and meets a very grown up William shortly after. 

The house is both haunted in the present, and very real in the past: there is a time slip between Bronwyn and William's bedroom which only they can cross (well, and a very determined cat as well). Their relationship must be restored across time, and Bronwyn's life must be decided, between Thorne Manor or returning to her teaching job in Canada for another semester. 

It's a lovely, warm story, though there are dark, spooky ghosts who do real damage. And fear in the night when Bronwyn (and her cat) are alone in the house. There are some very dark deeds to uncover and set right, and only if Bronwyn is able to do so will anything else work out well. 

This was a delightfully escapist read that I enjoyed a great deal. William was swoony, Bronwyn determined, ghosts scary, and the setting thorough and well drawn, in both eras. I loved the side characters, and wanted Armstrong to come up with a plausible way that William and Bronwyn could bridge the centuries. 

I think she did. Recommended.

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