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Living a dog's life...now and then

Anna O'Shea has failed at marriage, shed her job at a law firm, and she's trying to re-create herself when she and her recalcitrant nephew are summoned to the past in a manner that nearly destroys them. Her twenty-first-century skills pale as she struggles to find her nephew in nineteenth-century Ireland. For one of them, the past is brutally difficult, filled with hunger and struggle. For the other, the past is filled with privilege, status, and a reprieve from the crushing pain of present-day life. For both Anna and her nephew, the past offers them a chance at love.

Will every choice they make reverberate down through time? And do Irish Wolfhounds carry the soul of the ancient celts?

The past and present wrap around finely wrought characters who reveal the road home. Mystical, charming, and fantastic, New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Sheehan's Now & Then is a poignant and beautiful tale of a remarkable journey. It is a miraculous evocation of a breathtaking place in a volatile age filled with rich, unforgettable, deeply human characters and one unforgettable dog named Madigan.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061885792
List price: $10.99
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Lost & Found was a terrific book. This one was not. Honestly, I just finished it yesterday, and I've already forgotten exactly how it ended. Nor do I care to remember. There was just something wrong about the lost in time portion of this book. The Irish people in 1844 spoke as though they were contemporary, and reasonably educated, which most of them (in the novel) were not.more
This book was charming. It is about time travel (something that I have become fond of reading about since I read The Time Traveler's Wife earlier this year). It also has a bit of other magic woven in. Bitter divorcee Anna and her juvenile delinquent nephew Joseph are transported back to 1844 Ireland. Anna is discovered by a poor Irish family on a farm and Joseph is taken in by a rich English colonel. The book chronicles their journey as they decide how they are going to leave again or if they even want to.more
I liked Now & Then, but I didn't love it.Usually when this happens, I can list what I did and didn't like about the book. I'm finding that difficult to do. The book was pleasant enough. There wasn't really anything I disliked about it. There wasn't a lot that I strongly liked, either. I think the plot had a lot of promise, and I'm not quite sure why it didn't feel like it delivered. It got tangled in time travel paradoxes, of course, but that's what's supposed to happen. I'd be disappointed in a time travel book that didn't!Anna had her moments, and I'm not sure why I didn't her more than I did. I think I got tired of being told what a strong person she was. I rarely felt it.Joseph was an appropriately obnoxious teenager. I didn't like him much, but I wasn't supposed to. I was sympathetic to his situation.I wish Madigan (the dog) had more of a role. I wish there had been a bit more grey and a bit less black and white. I wish it'd just had a little more of whatever it was that was missing.It wasn't a bad read, but it could have been better.more
Time travel, magic, romance. adventure and an Irish Wolfhound all play a part in the novel Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan. She has woven together several stories to produce a delightful tale that kept me intrigued from cover to cover.Don’t let the time travel make you think this is science fiction; it’s not. It’s more of an historical period novel with a dash of magic and a connection with the present. While there is a dog on the cover of the book, it is not a “dog story”. The Wolfhound only plays a supporting role.As the story opens Anna O’Shea is having a bad day. Recently divorced, she returns from a much needed vacation to discover that her brother has been seriously injured in a car accident while on his way to pick up her nephew, Joe, from jail. The task now falls to Anna to retrieve the teenager and bring him home. Later that evening they get into an argument when Joe rummages through her suitcase. She grabs a piece of cloth he was holding and when they touch it sends them into the past. They each find themselves in 1840’s Ireland, but not together. Each has landed in a different place and is rescued by different people. One wants to go back home, the other wants to stay in the past.The characters are well developed and likable with what seems like separate but in the end are interconnecting tales. The story is fast-paced and has enough twists and turns to make it interesting and not predictable. I enjoyed the setting in Ireland and even learned a bit about the people and customs of the mid 1800’s.I read this in only a few days because I didn’t want to put it down. I am looking forward to future work from Ms. Sheehan.more
Synopsis (from book's back cover): Anna O'Shea has failed at marriage, shed her job at a law firm and she's trying to re-created herself when she and her recalcitrant nephew are summoned to the past in a manner that nearly destroys them. Her twenty-first-century skills pale as she struggles to find her nephew in nineteenth-century Ireland. For one of them, the past is brutally difficult, filled with hunger and struggle. For the other, the past is filled with privilege. My Thoughts: This was definitely not the type of book that I would have picked up for my reading pleasure. I also have to say up front that I misunderstood the synopsis of the plot in regard to time travel, given to me by Mr. Frank Daniels, the author's friend, until I received the book. With all that said and the fact that there was a genuine warmth from Mr. Daniels' initial email for his friend, I was going to try and give this book a fair and undivided attention that I would give books that are from my usual genre of books. The main character, Anna O'Shea was likeable and could be identified with, which pulled me into the book from the start. The author initially conveyed the fast paced corporate world of today where personal relationships are ships passing in the night until it's too late to turn back or is it? What about other relationships where bitterness lies instead of forgiveness? Where childhood experiences mold us as adults or should we learn from them? Can love be found in the simple life, do we make our own happiness or do we depend on others? In a split second Anna and her troubled nephew, Joseph, are about to find out! The reader is taken back to Ireland in 1844 when the British ruled and owned Ireland. Do our ancestors mold our futures? Does the saying "history repeats itself" true? My Opinion and Rating:(Rating 5) This book was hard to put down. Amazing!! Interesting!! A little bit romance, mystery and history all in one book. The author's writing style, nothing less than phenomenal, in the way she interweaves a gripping fictional plot with non fictional facts of history without boredom. The characters are bigger than life. I had a very hard time putting this book down. I thank Ms. Sheehan and Mr. Daniels for giving me the opportunity to read this exceptional story and I strongly recommend that everyone read this book.more
I'm still debating if I liked this book or not. First the cover was deceiving. I thought it was going to be about a dog - since there is a young girl holding a wolfhound on the front cover. Then the back cover which is suppose to give the reader a summary or some insight into the story didn't match either. The last line was especially wrong - an unforgettable dog named Madigan...the dog was a minor character at best. I found the book confusing for the most part, but I suppose time travel is always confusing. I did think some of the relationships were confusing. The author alludes to a lot of things and I had to fill in the blanks. By the way, the family's name is O'Shea. I believe this is mentioned only once in the present and once in the past - but it is important. I had to flip through the beginning of the book to see if the name had any significance - it does. The story bogs down and drags in the middle. About two-thirds of the way through I knew with all that unprotected sex there would be pregnancies. No great revelation there. The story is set in Ireland just before the Great Potato Famine. The author touches on some of the mystical aspects of the time period and area, but I wanted more since there is a curse they're trying to lift. The ending was highly disappointing. I wanted to see the changes in their lives, but the author wraps up the story in three short chapters. I would have figured with all that Anna and Joseph went through they would change, but we don't see that. I was disappointed in the ending. But since I don't want to ruin it for others - I'll leave it at that.more
After surviving three painful miscarriages and a devastating divorce, Anna O'Shea has given up her draining law practice and tried to put the scattered pieces of her life back together. A trip with a girlfriend to the British Isles is part of her healing process, including a quick one day stopover in Ireland on the way home. They have time to visit just one castle. As she is leaving, Anna meets an elderly Irish woman who says that she has been waiting for her. She gives Anna a small wrapped package, which gets tossed unopened into her luggage.And there the package lies, forgotten. Once home in Massachusetts, Anna falls into a jet lagged sleep, only to be awoken abruptly by the telephone. Her mother is calling to tell her that her only sibling, her brother Patrick, has been in a horrible car accident. He was on his way to New Jersey to pick up his son, Anna's sixteen year old nephew Joseph, who had been arrested.Eventually Anna is the one who springs the boy from jail. She has always tried to be there for Joseph, just as she always tried to be there for Patrick. She knows first hand the awful pain of child whose father is given to sudden rage. Her father had been volatile and she can see the same trait repeated in her brother.They arrive home late, too late to visit the hospital. During the night, Joseph has a dream that sends him, almost still dreaming, out to the living room to go through his aunt's baggage. Just as he picks up the mysterious package from Ireland, Anna walks in and assumes the worst. As she angrily grabs at what he holds in his hands, both are sucked into a violent vortex and pulled apart...When Anna awakens she is on a cold beach, battered and bloody, with a serious wound in her leg. Joseph is nowhere to be found, though she searches with the last of her strength. The people who find her and save her life are kind and generous with what little they have. But as she heals, she begins to realize that she is not in 2009. It is a shock to learn that it is the year 1844 and she is in Ireland. The Ireland of her own ancestors.At first she is so weak and sick, it takes weeks to recover the strength just to walk. Her focus every day is to find a way to locate Joseph and figure out a way to get back to their own time. But it is impossible not to become entwined in the lives of the Irish people and it is a constant struggle for Anna to maintain a plausible story and refrain from mentioning anything that might color future events. She has no way of knowing if their very presence in the past will change their own future.Time travel books have a special place in my heart and I am always drawn to them. I remember reading Ray Bradbury's short story "A Sound of Thunder" as a teenager, I think that is where it started. Next came the fantastic novel Time and Again by Jack Finney and I was a convert. Since then, I have been fascinated by the process and the possibilities...or maybe I should say possible repercussions. I liked that Ms. Sheehan's mode of time travel was a dangerous, bloody business. It seems so much more plausible than the fall asleep in one time, wake up in another that is usually used in novels. She even mentions string theory (my Dad would love that)! She knits together the lives of the characters in a subtle but magical way, and presents them with enough drama to draw in any reader. This is an absorbing story that I truly enjoyed.more
This book is a bit of a trip. Take chick-lit, a bit of romance, Irish historical-fiction, and time travel and mix it all up, throw in a little bit of Irish wolfhound and you've got Now & Then. And I totally enjoyed it. **Warning: The dog plays a fairly small part in the story.**Plot:Anna O'Shea is a bit of a mess. Her father abandoned the family, her brother has anger issues, her nephew has just landed in jail, and her husband left her for another woman after three failed pregnancies.Joseph O'Shea is a bit of a mess. He's sixteen, unpopular at school, and only good at wrestling, not the most popular sport at school. His father just got into a huge car accident while on his way to pick up Joseph from jail and his aunt, Anna, is furious with him.Enter the time-travel. How? Why? Read the book!Anna and Joseph get whisked back in time to country Ireland, 1844. Just one year before THE potato famine. And they get separated. Anna is injured and is taken in by some of the country people. Joseph gets taken for a non-Irish Canadian and is taken in by a wealthy Englishman. And of course, they both fall in love with someone while in historic Ireland. Anna and Joseph have to find each other, figure out what happened and why, and how to get home...if they still want to go home.What I liked:I enjoyed the sections narrated by Anna. I really liked her and just wanted her to be happy. I loved the historical setting in Ireland. The way the Irish were suppressed by the British landlords and what they had to do to survive was fascinating and horrible at the same time. I love that it was kind of realistic too. Anna got beat up quite a bit which I don't think you'd find in a romance novel. I mean, at one point she looses some teeth. O yeah.What I didn't like:Ok. I think the cover and blurb is so misleading. I thought this book would be more dog-centric, right? Wrong. Well, mostly wrong. There is a dog. An Irish wolfhound name Madigan. He has more to do with Joseph's part of the story. But just a bit. Madigan's importance really only comes out at the very end. And speaking of Joseph, he was so annoying. I guess he's a sixteen year-old but still. Hmm...I guess that is it.While it wasn't the story the cover led me to believe it was, it was still a fun time-traveling ride. I have to admit I'm a sucker for Irish history so that was a huge bonus for me.more
Her marriage having failed after a series of miscarriages and having packed in her job as a lawyer, Anna is returning from a trip to Ireland when she gets the news that her brother has been in a terrible car accident and is barely clinging to life. Worse yet, the accident happened as he was on his way to New Jersey to get teenaged his son out of jail. Springing her sullen nephew and breaking the news of his father's critical condition falls to the jet-lagged Anna and she takes the unommunicative teen home to her house, where she hasn't even unpacked yet. In the middle of the night, she hears a noise, goes to investigate and finds Joseph going through her suitcase. As she reaches for him, he touches the cloth that an odd woman in Ireland gave to her and immediately both of them are sucked into darkness. Upon waking, Anna is injured and alone. She is also more than 150 years in the past in Ireland. Now she must find Joseph and figure out how to get them both back to their own time.Told in alternating chapters, with Anna or Joe narrating in turn, Sheehan has captured the reality of rural Ireland before the Famine. Her native Irish characters and the landowning Anglo-Irish gentleman are worlds apart in all the ways that they should be. The decision to have Anna land with the poor but cautiously welcoming native Irish and to have the immature, surly teen end up in the home of the wealthy Anglo-Irish was inspired. It highlighted Joe's inability to make the best decisions and his willingness to be flattered. He was a typical teen, even if he was thrust backwards in time. Anna, on the other hand, learned to be grateful for the gifts she did have, even if a baby was not one of them, and the value of a deep and abiding friendship.This was a light and entertaining book with a very bittersweet ending. The themes of love and family and healing the wounds of the past are very much woven throughout the narrative and through each and every character, major and minor. It was easy to read, taking only a few hours from start to finish and I never tired of the characters. And while the romantic in me might have wanted a different ending, the one it had was appropriate and fitting and ultimately hopeful. Don't be misled by the cover into thinking that Irish wolfhounds are more important than they are here. That particular thread seemed a bit frayed and only mentioned occasionally. The other thread that is also important to the story but underplayed is that of the culture of violence in Anna's family. If Anna and Joseph are in the past to make the future better, a more in depth background to their complicated relationships with their fathers would have been helpful. Overall though, this was a nice book and one that fans of time travel will likely enjoy. Historical fiction fans who don't mind a modern sensibility inserted into their stories (on purpose, not unintentionally) will also be happy reading this book.Thanks to Book Club Girl and Avon Books for providing me with a review copy of this book.more
Read all 11 reviews

Reviews

Lost & Found was a terrific book. This one was not. Honestly, I just finished it yesterday, and I've already forgotten exactly how it ended. Nor do I care to remember. There was just something wrong about the lost in time portion of this book. The Irish people in 1844 spoke as though they were contemporary, and reasonably educated, which most of them (in the novel) were not.more
This book was charming. It is about time travel (something that I have become fond of reading about since I read The Time Traveler's Wife earlier this year). It also has a bit of other magic woven in. Bitter divorcee Anna and her juvenile delinquent nephew Joseph are transported back to 1844 Ireland. Anna is discovered by a poor Irish family on a farm and Joseph is taken in by a rich English colonel. The book chronicles their journey as they decide how they are going to leave again or if they even want to.more
I liked Now & Then, but I didn't love it.Usually when this happens, I can list what I did and didn't like about the book. I'm finding that difficult to do. The book was pleasant enough. There wasn't really anything I disliked about it. There wasn't a lot that I strongly liked, either. I think the plot had a lot of promise, and I'm not quite sure why it didn't feel like it delivered. It got tangled in time travel paradoxes, of course, but that's what's supposed to happen. I'd be disappointed in a time travel book that didn't!Anna had her moments, and I'm not sure why I didn't her more than I did. I think I got tired of being told what a strong person she was. I rarely felt it.Joseph was an appropriately obnoxious teenager. I didn't like him much, but I wasn't supposed to. I was sympathetic to his situation.I wish Madigan (the dog) had more of a role. I wish there had been a bit more grey and a bit less black and white. I wish it'd just had a little more of whatever it was that was missing.It wasn't a bad read, but it could have been better.more
Time travel, magic, romance. adventure and an Irish Wolfhound all play a part in the novel Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan. She has woven together several stories to produce a delightful tale that kept me intrigued from cover to cover.Don’t let the time travel make you think this is science fiction; it’s not. It’s more of an historical period novel with a dash of magic and a connection with the present. While there is a dog on the cover of the book, it is not a “dog story”. The Wolfhound only plays a supporting role.As the story opens Anna O’Shea is having a bad day. Recently divorced, she returns from a much needed vacation to discover that her brother has been seriously injured in a car accident while on his way to pick up her nephew, Joe, from jail. The task now falls to Anna to retrieve the teenager and bring him home. Later that evening they get into an argument when Joe rummages through her suitcase. She grabs a piece of cloth he was holding and when they touch it sends them into the past. They each find themselves in 1840’s Ireland, but not together. Each has landed in a different place and is rescued by different people. One wants to go back home, the other wants to stay in the past.The characters are well developed and likable with what seems like separate but in the end are interconnecting tales. The story is fast-paced and has enough twists and turns to make it interesting and not predictable. I enjoyed the setting in Ireland and even learned a bit about the people and customs of the mid 1800’s.I read this in only a few days because I didn’t want to put it down. I am looking forward to future work from Ms. Sheehan.more
Synopsis (from book's back cover): Anna O'Shea has failed at marriage, shed her job at a law firm and she's trying to re-created herself when she and her recalcitrant nephew are summoned to the past in a manner that nearly destroys them. Her twenty-first-century skills pale as she struggles to find her nephew in nineteenth-century Ireland. For one of them, the past is brutally difficult, filled with hunger and struggle. For the other, the past is filled with privilege. My Thoughts: This was definitely not the type of book that I would have picked up for my reading pleasure. I also have to say up front that I misunderstood the synopsis of the plot in regard to time travel, given to me by Mr. Frank Daniels, the author's friend, until I received the book. With all that said and the fact that there was a genuine warmth from Mr. Daniels' initial email for his friend, I was going to try and give this book a fair and undivided attention that I would give books that are from my usual genre of books. The main character, Anna O'Shea was likeable and could be identified with, which pulled me into the book from the start. The author initially conveyed the fast paced corporate world of today where personal relationships are ships passing in the night until it's too late to turn back or is it? What about other relationships where bitterness lies instead of forgiveness? Where childhood experiences mold us as adults or should we learn from them? Can love be found in the simple life, do we make our own happiness or do we depend on others? In a split second Anna and her troubled nephew, Joseph, are about to find out! The reader is taken back to Ireland in 1844 when the British ruled and owned Ireland. Do our ancestors mold our futures? Does the saying "history repeats itself" true? My Opinion and Rating:(Rating 5) This book was hard to put down. Amazing!! Interesting!! A little bit romance, mystery and history all in one book. The author's writing style, nothing less than phenomenal, in the way she interweaves a gripping fictional plot with non fictional facts of history without boredom. The characters are bigger than life. I had a very hard time putting this book down. I thank Ms. Sheehan and Mr. Daniels for giving me the opportunity to read this exceptional story and I strongly recommend that everyone read this book.more
I'm still debating if I liked this book or not. First the cover was deceiving. I thought it was going to be about a dog - since there is a young girl holding a wolfhound on the front cover. Then the back cover which is suppose to give the reader a summary or some insight into the story didn't match either. The last line was especially wrong - an unforgettable dog named Madigan...the dog was a minor character at best. I found the book confusing for the most part, but I suppose time travel is always confusing. I did think some of the relationships were confusing. The author alludes to a lot of things and I had to fill in the blanks. By the way, the family's name is O'Shea. I believe this is mentioned only once in the present and once in the past - but it is important. I had to flip through the beginning of the book to see if the name had any significance - it does. The story bogs down and drags in the middle. About two-thirds of the way through I knew with all that unprotected sex there would be pregnancies. No great revelation there. The story is set in Ireland just before the Great Potato Famine. The author touches on some of the mystical aspects of the time period and area, but I wanted more since there is a curse they're trying to lift. The ending was highly disappointing. I wanted to see the changes in their lives, but the author wraps up the story in three short chapters. I would have figured with all that Anna and Joseph went through they would change, but we don't see that. I was disappointed in the ending. But since I don't want to ruin it for others - I'll leave it at that.more
After surviving three painful miscarriages and a devastating divorce, Anna O'Shea has given up her draining law practice and tried to put the scattered pieces of her life back together. A trip with a girlfriend to the British Isles is part of her healing process, including a quick one day stopover in Ireland on the way home. They have time to visit just one castle. As she is leaving, Anna meets an elderly Irish woman who says that she has been waiting for her. She gives Anna a small wrapped package, which gets tossed unopened into her luggage.And there the package lies, forgotten. Once home in Massachusetts, Anna falls into a jet lagged sleep, only to be awoken abruptly by the telephone. Her mother is calling to tell her that her only sibling, her brother Patrick, has been in a horrible car accident. He was on his way to New Jersey to pick up his son, Anna's sixteen year old nephew Joseph, who had been arrested.Eventually Anna is the one who springs the boy from jail. She has always tried to be there for Joseph, just as she always tried to be there for Patrick. She knows first hand the awful pain of child whose father is given to sudden rage. Her father had been volatile and she can see the same trait repeated in her brother.They arrive home late, too late to visit the hospital. During the night, Joseph has a dream that sends him, almost still dreaming, out to the living room to go through his aunt's baggage. Just as he picks up the mysterious package from Ireland, Anna walks in and assumes the worst. As she angrily grabs at what he holds in his hands, both are sucked into a violent vortex and pulled apart...When Anna awakens she is on a cold beach, battered and bloody, with a serious wound in her leg. Joseph is nowhere to be found, though she searches with the last of her strength. The people who find her and save her life are kind and generous with what little they have. But as she heals, she begins to realize that she is not in 2009. It is a shock to learn that it is the year 1844 and she is in Ireland. The Ireland of her own ancestors.At first she is so weak and sick, it takes weeks to recover the strength just to walk. Her focus every day is to find a way to locate Joseph and figure out a way to get back to their own time. But it is impossible not to become entwined in the lives of the Irish people and it is a constant struggle for Anna to maintain a plausible story and refrain from mentioning anything that might color future events. She has no way of knowing if their very presence in the past will change their own future.Time travel books have a special place in my heart and I am always drawn to them. I remember reading Ray Bradbury's short story "A Sound of Thunder" as a teenager, I think that is where it started. Next came the fantastic novel Time and Again by Jack Finney and I was a convert. Since then, I have been fascinated by the process and the possibilities...or maybe I should say possible repercussions. I liked that Ms. Sheehan's mode of time travel was a dangerous, bloody business. It seems so much more plausible than the fall asleep in one time, wake up in another that is usually used in novels. She even mentions string theory (my Dad would love that)! She knits together the lives of the characters in a subtle but magical way, and presents them with enough drama to draw in any reader. This is an absorbing story that I truly enjoyed.more
This book is a bit of a trip. Take chick-lit, a bit of romance, Irish historical-fiction, and time travel and mix it all up, throw in a little bit of Irish wolfhound and you've got Now & Then. And I totally enjoyed it. **Warning: The dog plays a fairly small part in the story.**Plot:Anna O'Shea is a bit of a mess. Her father abandoned the family, her brother has anger issues, her nephew has just landed in jail, and her husband left her for another woman after three failed pregnancies.Joseph O'Shea is a bit of a mess. He's sixteen, unpopular at school, and only good at wrestling, not the most popular sport at school. His father just got into a huge car accident while on his way to pick up Joseph from jail and his aunt, Anna, is furious with him.Enter the time-travel. How? Why? Read the book!Anna and Joseph get whisked back in time to country Ireland, 1844. Just one year before THE potato famine. And they get separated. Anna is injured and is taken in by some of the country people. Joseph gets taken for a non-Irish Canadian and is taken in by a wealthy Englishman. And of course, they both fall in love with someone while in historic Ireland. Anna and Joseph have to find each other, figure out what happened and why, and how to get home...if they still want to go home.What I liked:I enjoyed the sections narrated by Anna. I really liked her and just wanted her to be happy. I loved the historical setting in Ireland. The way the Irish were suppressed by the British landlords and what they had to do to survive was fascinating and horrible at the same time. I love that it was kind of realistic too. Anna got beat up quite a bit which I don't think you'd find in a romance novel. I mean, at one point she looses some teeth. O yeah.What I didn't like:Ok. I think the cover and blurb is so misleading. I thought this book would be more dog-centric, right? Wrong. Well, mostly wrong. There is a dog. An Irish wolfhound name Madigan. He has more to do with Joseph's part of the story. But just a bit. Madigan's importance really only comes out at the very end. And speaking of Joseph, he was so annoying. I guess he's a sixteen year-old but still. Hmm...I guess that is it.While it wasn't the story the cover led me to believe it was, it was still a fun time-traveling ride. I have to admit I'm a sucker for Irish history so that was a huge bonus for me.more
Her marriage having failed after a series of miscarriages and having packed in her job as a lawyer, Anna is returning from a trip to Ireland when she gets the news that her brother has been in a terrible car accident and is barely clinging to life. Worse yet, the accident happened as he was on his way to New Jersey to get teenaged his son out of jail. Springing her sullen nephew and breaking the news of his father's critical condition falls to the jet-lagged Anna and she takes the unommunicative teen home to her house, where she hasn't even unpacked yet. In the middle of the night, she hears a noise, goes to investigate and finds Joseph going through her suitcase. As she reaches for him, he touches the cloth that an odd woman in Ireland gave to her and immediately both of them are sucked into darkness. Upon waking, Anna is injured and alone. She is also more than 150 years in the past in Ireland. Now she must find Joseph and figure out how to get them both back to their own time.Told in alternating chapters, with Anna or Joe narrating in turn, Sheehan has captured the reality of rural Ireland before the Famine. Her native Irish characters and the landowning Anglo-Irish gentleman are worlds apart in all the ways that they should be. The decision to have Anna land with the poor but cautiously welcoming native Irish and to have the immature, surly teen end up in the home of the wealthy Anglo-Irish was inspired. It highlighted Joe's inability to make the best decisions and his willingness to be flattered. He was a typical teen, even if he was thrust backwards in time. Anna, on the other hand, learned to be grateful for the gifts she did have, even if a baby was not one of them, and the value of a deep and abiding friendship.This was a light and entertaining book with a very bittersweet ending. The themes of love and family and healing the wounds of the past are very much woven throughout the narrative and through each and every character, major and minor. It was easy to read, taking only a few hours from start to finish and I never tired of the characters. And while the romantic in me might have wanted a different ending, the one it had was appropriate and fitting and ultimately hopeful. Don't be misled by the cover into thinking that Irish wolfhounds are more important than they are here. That particular thread seemed a bit frayed and only mentioned occasionally. The other thread that is also important to the story but underplayed is that of the culture of violence in Anna's family. If Anna and Joseph are in the past to make the future better, a more in depth background to their complicated relationships with their fathers would have been helpful. Overall though, this was a nice book and one that fans of time travel will likely enjoy. Historical fiction fans who don't mind a modern sensibility inserted into their stories (on purpose, not unintentionally) will also be happy reading this book.Thanks to Book Club Girl and Avon Books for providing me with a review copy of this book.more
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