Time's Echo by Pamela Hartshorne when the author followed me on Twitter. Time's Echo is a time loop novel, set in the City of York, Yorkshire, (the Yorkshire county being made up of the Three Ridings and the City of York). As I am a Yorkshire lass myself, from the West Riding, I thought it would be an interesting read. I wasn't at all disappointed.
It is a hard book to review simply because I don't want to give anything away and spoil the reading experience. Like most time loop novels, there are two main protagonists, one in the present and one from the past. In Time's Echo the modern character is Grace Trewe, a commitment phobic young women with a love of travel. She is also a survivor of the Boxing Day tsunami and she struggles with PTSD and survivor's remorse.
When Grace inherits a house in York from her god-mother it seems like an inconvenient hassle to do it up and sell it on prior to resuming her travels, but almost as soon as she walks in the front door she feels drawn to the past and to the ghostly voice of Hawise, a young woman who was drowned as a witch in York in the Elizabethan period. As the story unfolds the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead becomes thinner, culminating in a dramatic race against time on Halloween.
Time's Echo is a tale of witches, past and present and as a Wiccan author myself I love to read witchy tales; that this one is based in York was an added bonus. In the story there is a coven of modern witches who Grace turns to for help and as the leader Vivien casts a protective circle and calls the guardians, she begins in the west. This seemed a little strange to me, as it is usually more traditional in witchcraft to begin in the east, or sometimes the north; but as both Hawise and Grace have been harmed by water in the past, it does make sense to protect Grace from the west, the direction of water, though the author doesn't actually say that this is the reason for beginning in the west - that is simply my own interpretation. It could also be that different covens have different ways of doing things - there is no right and wrong way to cast a circle after all, but it was something which stood out for me as being different to my own way of working magically and for that reason I found it interesting and I wanted to know more.
One of my favorite scenes is the decorating scene, which really made me giggle and is one that most women can probably relate to - a male friend turning up with Polly-filler and masking tape, when all Grace wants to do it slap a coat of paint on the walls! My favorite line from the novel comes at the end of chapter six, when the Widow Dent sees off a predator with her stick and the words "She said no!". Enough said.
I also have a reader-crush on the modern love interest Drew, aka Mr Polly-Filler! He is so solid, steady and straight-laced in a charming, reliable way.
Time's Echo is a bewitching tale of love and treachery... a pretty girl who stands out from the crowd; a lecherous predator who carries a grudge; a jealous sister who seethes in resentment and a great injustice that ripples across time. If you like witchy, supernatural novels of ghostly theme Time's Echo is one you will enjoy reading, especially on a cold night such as tonight as the snow falls.
Follow Pamela Hartshorne on Twitter @pamhartshorne or read her blog at http://www.pamelahartshorne.com