Friday, April 5, 2013

Review of: Somewhere My Love by Beth Trissel

Somewhere My Love brings back a cast of main characters from a murder that occurred in 1806. Modern-day equivalent characters are haunted by the spirits of their distant relatives, each being driven by memories and motivations of their originals. The plot builds to a re-enactment of the dastardly crime that both reveals the 200-year-old killer and re-kindles the historical romance that was shattered by it. Amid blooming present-time love, the re-enactment moves to completion … and a new body moves to the morgue.

Julia, an impressionable and innocent British teen, arrives for a summer job to assist with tours and maintenance at Foxleigh, a restored old home along the James River in Virginia. She immediately falls in love with the image in a painting of the 200-year-old master of the mansion, Cole, and sets her sights on the current heir, Wil.

In a stunning twist of fate, the characters she meets in the present, as well as herself, are not only affected by the spirits of the past, but their current physical forms bear strong resemblance to the originals. Wil fights jealousy of his long-dead rival as Julia often confuses him with Cole, her eternal object of affection, but that doesn’t stop him from bedding her.

As the entire cast of characters struggles to create a credible performance of Hamlet for a midsummer night’s eve presentation at the mansion, the original crime re-enactment unfolds. Much of the dialog in the second half of the novel is quoted from the original Shakespeare play, and the interplay of the characters is related to the play as well. Those affected by spirits move in and out of time warps that enable them to experience the thought and feeling of their past originals. Before the play is complete, the original killer and the modern-day killer are revealed … and a wronged spirit from the past saves the day.

The book is well-edited, but I found the extensive use of Old English Shakespearian quotes so distracting and heavy that I could not read this book quickly. It just didn’t hold my interest. Still, I know Shakespeare has many more fans than I, so I would give this book an overall four-star rating.

The opinions and rating expressed here are those of James L. Hatch.

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