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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2000
Ginny and Sam are fun characters to read about and follow throughout their story. Ginny, lost in an unhappy marriage which she does not even realize was a disfunctional one, loses her husband to suicide and is thrust forward through time. Like most time travel stories, the main force of the story is guided by fate (or why else would they have traveled through time?). Because of this, there is the problem of keeping the story fresh and eventful, convincing the reader that they want to continue reading. Ms. Hix does a wonderful job of avoiding this trap, giving the reader bits and pieces of the suicide until we learn the whole story.
In the present, Sam and Ginny, with their supportive secondary characters, are amusing and interesting. Ginny adjusts remarkably easily to the present and Sam accepts her time travel story relatively easily (a big pitfall of time travel stories) considering he is a scientist. I did enjoy this story, I guess you just can't start thinking too much about the plot or else you'll soon get disappointed. For example, if Sam is so devoted to his work that he can't even run such an important fund raising party for his mother, when would he get the time to go out and see basketballs games (and become such a big fan?). Or how do you explain the return trip? What happened to the original Ginny? There obviously were not two of them, but if Ginny returns with her current memories the cycle can't work (I suppose that is starting to get too technical and I've watched one too many Back to the Future movies).
I liked that Ms. Hix tried to keep Ginny as the Victorian lady, even though she seemed to adapt to modern morals and standards a bit quickly. The informal dress and address of people, as well as the forward thinking of women are all things Ginny is not used to. It was just a tad hard to reconcile how much Ginny changed. From being completely unaware of her husbands life and her financial position, to taking over the running of the modern house and its renovation. When all is said and done, this story is better written than a lot of the romance fiction out there, and worth picking up if you like this genre.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2000
New York, December 1899. Ginny Thornton is in the midst of preparations for her New Year's Eve Ball to celebrate the turn of the century. But instead of the festive occasion it should be, it is overshadowed by doubt and insecurity. Ginny is troubled by her husband's recent behavior, and his reluctance to discuss matters concerning their estate frustrates her. When he takes his own life, Ginny is devastated and learns he's lost her precious family home, Malmaison, due to an unscrupulous business deal with a man named Sutter. Seeking escape, Ginny takes refuge in her conservatory, where she falls asleep...and when she wakes, she discovers she is one hundred years in the future.
In 1999, Dr. Samuel Sutter is in charge of Malmaison. He is less interested in the aspects of the Victorian mansion's past than he is in the future of the organic research the conservatory provides. But he has promised his mother to continue with the New Year's Eve ball, designed to celebrate the new millenium. When he discovers Ginny, he mistakenly believes she is the new curator of the estate and enlists her aid to make sure everything is as it was at Malmaison in 1899.
Ginny readily takes advantage of the situation in hopes to find a way to restore her home to her and go back to her own time. What she discovers is shocking, and so is her attraction to Sam.
Ms. Hix paints a beautiful picture of Victorian life in this intriguing story. The chemistry between Sam and Ginny is well done, and her secondary characters have spark. The only weak point came later in the book with the reverse time-travel et cetera. I found the device a bit vague. But then again, so is time-travel all together, right? *g* Otherwise it is gripping.
April Redmon 5/29/00
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Some choose to believe the past is dead and gone, never to be seen or heard from again, except in archives. Some believe the past is bound to repeat itself through others, in time. The most unique theory I have ever heard is that we are living on a parallel earth where the past and present are in tandem, and if you stay still long enough and look to the side at just the right moment, you might capture a glimpse of it.
In the prologue, Willa Hix starts us off with a beautiful quote from Dante Alighieri about waking up lost in the middle of one's life. The story begins in New York, in December of 1899. Virginia Thornton is trying to hock some jewelry to hold the creditors at bay and help cover her holiday fortnight of guests at Malmaison until New Years. A tradition her parents started when they built the house where Ginny grew up and holds a lifetime of memories. Since her parents died, Ginny has been lovingly living up to the traditions of Malmaison, but her selfish husband Thomas is about to turn her secure little world into a nightmare. During the celebration, Ginny learns that Thomas has destroyed their livelihood and lost their home, and if that isn't enough, he takes the easy way out, leaving her to face a penniless, homeless future alone.
Have your emotions ever become so overwhelmed that you were unable to speak? So much so that your soul had to cry out from the depths of your own being for you? This is the impression I get: that Willa Hix used to create her time travel; the reason that a sleeping Ginny to wake in 1999, and this is also where the "past & present in tandem" theory comes in. The man to meet Ginny in the future, in her conservatory, is Sam Sutter - a distant relative of the man Thomas lost the house to. Once they meet, Ginny accepts the curator job, and stays on with a goal to figure out how to go back in time and reclaim her home. In this time, she and Sam build a friendly relationship, and she really wants to tell him the truth, but can she trust him not to think her crazy and toss her out of her beloved Malmaison? The plot doesn't stop there; readers can expect an extensive storyline that is handled well, with nothing silly, or off-the-wall.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2000
Don't let the cover turn you away from this book. It should have an old mansion with a conservatory filled with blooming malmaison carnations. I enjoyed Ginny traveling to the present time 1999 and seeing how her family estate had changed. Sam Sutter could have been a more steamer lover; but he is a research scientist looking for medical cures through flowers. Ginny travels to the 1999 from 1899 on New Years Eve. Her husband has just commited suicide, because he has gone through all of Ginny's family money and even the family estate. Ginny knows the man responsible for her husbands death is Colonel Sutter.
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