By Kelley Armstrong
Published October 2021
Rosalind Courtenay has spent four years trying to return to her husband and son. That is more difficult than it sounds, since she was stuck in the 21st Century and her family is in the 19th Century. Once she passes through the time portal again and makes it home, she is unable to come up with a rational explanation for her absence that won’t land her in an asylum. In a strange twist, she is mistaken for the new nanny for her now five-year-old son. Even as she cherishes the chance to get to know her son and struggles with how to reveal herself to her husband, something is haunting Courtenay Manor, intent on getting rid of her.
This is the second installment of Armstrong’s A Stitch in Time trilogy. August, Rosie’s husband, was a supporting character in the first book. So while I love novels featuring offshoot characters and Victorian time-slip/ghost stories are right up my alley, this one is not going to rank up with my favorite novels.
Rosie herself is a strong character, able to survive when she finds herself in a time period she has no idea how to navigate. The view of the 21st century by a Victorian woman was eye-opening and it was humorous to see how she incorporated her new attitude into her life once she returned to her original time. However, this is a single POV novel, and the first part deals with Rosie finding herself lost in time, then setting out to establish a new life there once it becomes obvious she can’t slip back through the time portal. However, she was working in a vacuum – we only had her thoughts to cover those four years. I wished some of the early scenes were shown, since she went from being stranded to owning her own bakery and renting an apartment over the course of not many pages. I wanted to know how that happened, especially considering she had no ID and didn’t exist.
My main frustration came with the fact that her character is super analytical. I’m all for understanding a character’s thought process but that’s all I had for a large part of this book. I found myself skimming to scenes where Rosie interacted with other characters, just to get out of her head.
I don’t mean to be a downer about this novel – the premise and plot is great and I’ll certainly read the third novel as soon as it’s released. (It took me a while to read/review this one due to a comedy of errors trying to obtain it through my library. Because I spend so much money on reference books, my fiction reads are usually not purchased.) However, the pacing dragged for me and since most of Rosie’s thoughts centered on her plan to reveal herself, I didn’t feel the tension surrounding the ghostly happenings at the manor as much as I would have liked to.
In the end, I rated this novel 3.5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐+
I have to add, though, that if this had been written by an unknown novelist, I doubt I’d rate it this high.
Have you read this one? I’d love your thoughts on it!
Until next time, thank you for visiting.
My rating system:
5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.
4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.
3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.
2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.