The new owner of a 16th-century Wiltshire farmhouse, Julia finds herself transported back and forth in time to the life of a woman named Mariana. Enthralled with the long-ago world, in love with a man who lived centuries before, Julia must lay the past to rest if she is to find love in the present.
This is my second Susanna Kearsley novel, and I'm hooked. She is reviving my love of a good ghost story. As in The Rose Garden, the heroine travels back in time and falls in love with a mysterious man. And, also as in the first book, I fell in love with the setting as much as the characters. I'm a sucker for an English countryside, manor houses, and picturesque villages. It's one of those places you want to visit over and over, and the background characters are interesting enough to deserve their own story.
The "ghost" portion of this story took a different slant than anything else I've read. Rather than connecting with a stranger from the past, Julia relives scenes from her previous life. No, I don't believe in reincarnation, but that suspension of reality is an earmark of a good story. The plot had me wondering "How will this possibly work out?" The answer was not what I expected. With the exception of one tiny plot-point that is left dangling (and who needs to have every detail sewn up? That leaves no room for imagination.), the solution was beautiful and perfect.