Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Hands of Time by Irina Shapiro

Synopsis:  When a young woman vanishes without a trace from a quaint fishing village on the coast of England only one person knows the truth, but he remains silent allowing the authorities to search for her in vain.

Meanwhile, Valerie Crane finds herself transported to the year 1605. Terrified and confused she turns for help to the Whitfield brothers, who take her in and offer her a home. Both Alexander and Finlay Whitfield fall in love with the mysterious woman who shows up on their doorstep creating a love triangle that threatens to consume them all. Valerie must make her choice, deciding between the brother who will lead her down the path of destruction or one who will give her a love she couldn’t find in her own time.

Review:  Hands of Time isn't a book I would normally pick up - because I'm not into period peices (a huge chunk of the book takes place in 1605) but I'm glad that I did, because I really enjoyed reading this book.  Our herione Valerie goes on vacation with her sister after a nasty divorce.  While she is there she gets transported to 1605.  There she meets two brothers who both fall for her.  While her sister is frantically trying to find Valerie - Valerie is living in a life she has always dreamed of and trying to decide between the two brothers.

I like Valerie because she is a strong character.  She is plunged into a situation that would have scared me silly (turning up more than 400 years in the past) but she makes the best of it.  If I were in her shoes I'd freak out.  She stays true to herself throughout.  I really feel for Louisa, her sister.  I can't imagine what it would be like to have my sister disappear, and not be able to find her anywhere.  I like the clever way that Valerie finds to communicate to her sister that she is happy and doing ok.

As far as the Whitfield brother's are concerned, I'm team Finlay, but I'm not going to tell you who she chooses - you'll have to read and find out.

As I said, I enjoyed the story, and the characters in the book.  I also enjoyed the world-building.  The grammar and structure is fairly clean.  I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

About the Author:  I made my entrance into the world in a little known hospital located within walking distance of Moscow’s famed Red Square. For the next eleven years I lived the life of an ordinary Soviet child, in then communist Russia, until my family’s emigration to the United States in 1982. It was a difficult adjustment, but eventually I became an all American teenager who loved to watch soap operas and listen to pop music. Due to my love of reading I was able to pick up English very quickly and was an honor student throughout my school career.  

                    After graduating from Bernard M. Baruch College in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business I worked in advertising for two years before coming to realize that long hours and low wages were not the life for me. I shifted my focus to Import/Export and worked my way up to the position of Import Manager in a large textile house before leaving the work force in 2006 to focus on my autistic son.

                    It wasn’t until I had been at home for some time that I began to write. Eventually my characters began to take on a life of their own and have conversations in my head. Once I started writing my musings down the stories came easily enough. I incorporated my love of history and travel into my writing to create a rich and detailed background for my characters. Since then I have written five novels. I am currently working on a sequel to “The Hands of Time.”

I live in New Jersey with my husband and two children.

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