Book Review: Now and Then by Jacqueline Sheehan

nowandthenTitle: Now and Then
Author: Jacqueline Sheehan
Genre: Time travel fantasy
Publisher: Avon
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from publicist.
First line: The castle docent led the group along a roped path through a cold room.

Now and Then begins with Anna O’Shea, recently divorced, on a trip to Ireland. After a strange encounter with an old lady outside a castle, she returns home to discover that her brother has been in an accident. He is in critical condition, and his 16-year-old son is in a jail for juveniles, waiting to be bailed out. Anna rushes off to pick up her nephew, Joseph, and bring him back to see his father in the hospital. Unfortunately, Anna and Joseph take a wee detour – into 19th century Ireland.

The two wash up on the shore of Ireland, 70 miles apart. In a time without electronic communication, finding each other proves nearly impossible. Anna is taken in by Tom and Glennis, Irish farmers who have a sideline as smugglers. Joseph tells the people who find him that he is Canadian and he is taken in by Colonel Mitford, an Englishman who hates the Irish people. They experience two very different Irelands: Anna, one of privation and hunger and hard physical labor; Joseph, one of privilege and status. Both of them fall in love, and then must decide whether or not to go back to their own time – if they can figure out how, that is.

Jacqueline Sheehan is a talented writer, and I love the way she puts words together. The characters and plot, however, didn’t grab me until more than halfway through the book. I love time travel novels and I really wanted to love this book, but in the end, I simply liked it. It was a fun read, and the last one third had me hooked and wanting to know how it ended.

What I did love was the Irish history and the contrast between the lives Joseph and Anna led in Ireland. I didn’t care for Joseph’s character a whole lot, but by the end of the book I loved Anna and adored the love affair she embarks on in Ireland.

Other bloggers absolutely loved this book, so if you like historical fiction and time travel fantasy, you should definitely give it a try. It was an enjoyable read. Sheehan is a wonderful writer, and I will be seeking out more of her work.

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22 Responses to Book Review: Now and Then by Jacqueline Sheehan

  1. Ash says:

    Sounds like a pretty good book. I might have to check it out.

  2. Pam says:

    Sounds pretty great. I love time travel and Irish HF. I want to read more Fantasy and Historical Fiction this year and I haven’t read anything from Avon I think.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Pam – this was my first Avon book I think – will definitely be looking for more from them. I mailed the book to you this afternoon. 🙂

  3. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)
    Twitter: SavvyVerseWit
    says:

    I have this book on the shelf to read. Thanks for the honest review. I just can’t resist books with dogs on the covers.
    .-= Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)´s last blog ..2009 Challenge Wrap-Up =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Serena – I do think the cover is a bit deceptive – the dog is a character, but doesn’t play as big a role as you’d think.

  4. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I think I’ll get my share of time travel finishing up Outlander! I know, some people have raved over this book, but you aren’t the only one who was in the middle of the road. Some commented that the book didn’t have much to do with a dog, and were duped by the cover!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Christmas in Indiana #1 =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – I didn’t mind that, since I”m not a big dog person, but I can see how someone who was expecting a dog story would be disappointed.

  5. Heather @ Book Addiction
    Twitter: BookAddictHeath
    says:

    I just finished this and will probably review it tomorrow. I agree with you pretty much – I liked the Irish stuff, and I loved the romance, but I definitely didn’t love it. Oh well.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Heather – doesn’t it stink when you really want to love a book and it just doesn’t quite get there?

  6. Kathy says:

    I do like historical fiction but can’t remember any time travel books I’ve read as an adult. I think I’d still like to try this one some day. Thanks for your thoughtful review.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Wondrous Words Wednesday =-.

  7. Marie says:

    time travel can make for some good reading- this one sounds great!
    .-= Marie´s last blog ..E-Reader Blues =-.

  8. Kathleen says:

    I’m not sure I’d rush out to buy this one but I sure think the picture of the dog on the cover looks cute. The cover doesn’t seem to match the book though, does it?
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..Sunday Salon – A Great Start to 2010 =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathleen – no, I definitely would have done a different cover. I don’t think authors have much say in cover art, though.

  9. softdrink says:

    This does sound like a fun read. But the dog on the cover throws me every time…it doesn’t go with the description of the story!
    .-= softdrink´s last blog ..The Age of Orphans =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Fizzy – Irish Wolfhounds do play a part in the story, but not a major enough part to warrant the cover – plus the woman on the cover appears to be dressed in modern clothing. It’s weird.

  10. Michele says:

    This sounds like a fun twist on the time travel concept…two different time periods, huh? Very original!
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..Weekend Cooking: Hotel Room Style =-.

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