Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan

2009. 386pages (paperback)

From: The public library

In a nutshell:

Anna O’Shea and her nephew Joseph are transported from the 21st century Massachusetts to 19th century Ireland.  Separated by the time travel, Anna is taken in by kind coastal villagers while Joseph becomes the charge of a wealthy English lord in the eastern country.


Despite reading mixed reviews of this book, I was intrigued by the time travel aspect of it.  I had really liked the intricacies of the time travel aspect in Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Alas, this book is not very good.  I’ll give it credit for at least being interesting enough for me to finish it.  I liked Anna’s friendship with the Irish woman, Glenis, for instance.  And I wanted to see how Anna and Joseph would return to their own time.

I like supernatural and surreal elements in books but I have decreasing patience with the sort of mushy ‘second sight’ mysticism as displayed here.  It doesn’t feel like it’s been thought through.

The characters never felt fully credible, only half-fleshed out.  I didn’t quite understand why they did some of the things they did.  Poor book had to follow I Capture the Castle so its failings in this regard stood out starkly.

And the book doesn’t really have much to do with dogs, as the cover picture and back description would lead you to expect.  I knew about the misleading packaging beforehand, so it didn’t affect me, but I feel like I should tell others this.  Indeed, the book has more to say on horses, wrestling and dental health than on dogs.

On an interesting note, this was a library book but a previous reader had penciled in critical comments there and there, mostly on anachronisms or possible historical inaccuracies.  I think it’s a big no-no to write in library books, even in pencil, and found the comments distracting.  I cannot get too outraged, considering I did not like the book overall myself, but still.

1 Comment

Filed under Fantasy, Supernatural & Surreal

One response to “Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan

  1. Be outraged! Writing in books is blasphemy, especially if it’s a library book. Sheesh. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you.

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