This book was a delightful surprise; Erin Grady aka Erin Quinn has written a fascinating, multi-layered, mystical romance. Time shifting through earlier lives, the two stories blend to a final destination. Each character has a counterpart in both levels, and the shift to past history holds the key to the main story.
Tess Carson, a successful businesswoman in New York City, receives a call from the tiny rural community of Mountain Bend, California from the principal of the elementary school. Feeling very confused it takes time for her to realize that this must be the school her niece Caitlin attends. The caller informs her that Caitlin’s mother, Tess’ sister Tori France, did not pick her daughter up from school that day and seems to have “disappeared”, and as the emergency contact, Tess finds herself winging her way to a remote location in California “...a couple of hours east of Sacramento or several hours west of Salt Lake”. Tess knows that her sister is not particularly reliable, but when it comes to Caitlin she would never desert her.
Stories abound in this small town, much as they do in all small towns, but Tori appears to be in the middle of everything. However, it is not many hours before Tess becomes a reluctant witness to something very strange, is it hallucination or reality? That becomes her mantra as time shifts again and again, but always to the same period. Though sometimes spending days in the past, she always arrives back moments after she “leaves”.
The town is full of secrets, and yet they apparently are all related to one family, the Westons, the very family Tori was working for. Is it coincidence? Did she discover something hidden? Did she kill someone? Only the story will tell but the answer will be found buried in the past. A great read, passionate, mysterious, steadily building; a story of love, deceit, and jealousy through the ages. The characters are strong and full-fledged within both levels. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more.