From Publishers Weekly
A romance that stretches across centuries and past lives constitutes the core of Brashares's varied second adult novel, the first in a planned trilogy. The story is primarily that of Daniel, as, in the present, he pursues Lucy (whom he knows as Sophia in a previous life) and attempts to persuade her of their history and destiny, but his passion initially and understandably scares her off. He disappears, presumed dead, but Lucy, unable to forget him, investigates his claims of their history until she discovers the truth. Meanwhile, Daniel takes readers on a tour of romantic near-misses, from sixth-century Africa through eighth-century Turkey to WWI. The story moves slowly and predictably, though when a plot finally materializes, Brashares (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
) manages some satisfying momentum, even if the story begins to feel like it's borrowed from a James Patterson novel. Brashares's insights into human nature, meanwhile, should appeal to readers who enjoyed The Time-Traveler's Wife
, but can appreciate a Nicholas Sparks-esque sensibility. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
On the heels of recent film adaptations of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, Brashares’ second novel for adults taps into the growing appetite for romances thwarted by extraordinary tricks of time. Virginia high-school student Lucy is inexplicably drawn to classmate Daniel, but when he claims to have known her before, a thoroughly unsettled Lucy flees. Gradually, Lucy learns the impossible truth: Daniel has been chasing her through ages and lives for 1,200 years. In chapters that alternate viewpoints between the two lovers, past and present, the couples’ unrequited desire builds, even as a murderous soul threatens their reunion. Steamy bedroom scenes aside, the coming-of-age sensibility will feel familiar to crossover adult fans of Brashares’ best-selling Traveling Pants series for teens. Readers tantalized by the possibilities of past lives and soul-mate connections will devour this unabashed romance, which has the heart-pounding pace and tone of a beach novel, and hope for the sequel hinted at in the open ending. Suggest John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969) while they wait. --Gillian Engberg