Review: Now & Then

I enjoyed Sheehan’s novel Lost & Found and when Book Club Girl was offering copies in preparation for an upcoming show, I jumped at the chance to read this.

Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a fiction writer and essayist. She is also a practicing psychologist. She is a New Englander through and through, but spent twenty years living in the western states of Oregon, California, and New Mexico doing a variety of things, including house painting, freelance photography, newspaper writing, clerking in a health food store, and directing a traveling troupe of high school puppeteers. (source: author website)Having enjoyed Lost & Found so much, which was a story about family dynamics and love, I thought the themes would carry into this novel. I was enjoying this book but the story lost my interest when Anna and her sixteen year old nephew travel back 164 years to the pre-potato famine in Ireland. I found myself skimming to see how the story would end. It’s no secret that I enjoy ‘realistic’ stories, I didn’t realize most of this book takes place in the past (think Kate & Leopold in reverse). After visiting the authors website, I am going to pick up a copy of Truth (historical fiction) when I visit the bookstore.

I do have a question for the BCG’s show:
- I’m curious how the storyline came to the author. Did she want to write about Ireland and the plot developed from there? Anna’s story?

Type: Fiction, 400 pages, Trade paperback

SynopsisAnna 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.

Reviews:“Spellbinding…an altogether enjoyable adventure with a heavy helping of magic.” –Publishers Weekly