Monday, April 10, 2017

strictly literary: a twist in time by julie mcelwain

kendra donovan warped into a regency house party from a 2015 movie set in a murder in time. in a twist in time, she's still stuck in regency england without a clue on how to get back home. she's also got another murder to solve and more people to outrage given her modern outlook on pretty much everything.

unlike a murder in time, this novel takes place exclusively in regency england. kendra still struggles with the differences between the modern era and this particular time period, especially given the strictures on women. though the truth is, in some ways things haven't changed. societal problems may take on a different cast, but poverty, misogyny, greed, murder all still look the same no matter the moment in history.

while kendra is still adapting to this world and she is still unclear on how she is going to get back to the present day, her focus in this novel is more exclusively on solving the murder. she is particularly invested in it, because the marquis of sutcliffe, alec, is implicated in the crime. she knows he didn't commit it. but she also does not trust the investigative methods of the day.

her dogged determination to solve the crime puts her and people she's come to care about in danger. and she's not sure how to handle this caring about others thing because she was always a lone wolf in her old life and these feelings can be such a distraction. and the worst of it is, what is she going to do if, when she finally makes it back to her own time and all these people who she's come to care about are long dead. what is she supposed to do about that? how is it going to feel? will she never be truly happy in either timeline?

i was surprised that we got no glimpse of 2015 in this novel. the end of the past novel seemed to indicate an open thread that would continue throughout the series. though i love how kendra has made a life for herself in regency england. even as she tries to get back home, she's made a place for herself, more of a place than she ever had. and this will i think continue to be her struggle. because now that she's invested so much of herself in this past, will she ever really be able to leave it behind? i'm so interested to see what the future holds for kendra donovan, both in the regency and modern periods. i love this character so much.

i think one fair criticism of a lot of modern regency romance is that the heroes and heroines have modern sensibilities rather than attitudes consistent with the historical period. and while it's true that the people closest to kendra are the most open-minded and accepting, the fact that she is this modern person confronting some pretty antiquated ideas head on makes for an interesting conflict. in one of the more fraught emotional beats between kendra and alec they argue about his need to protect her. and on the one hand his need to protect her stems from the social mores he was brought up to uphold, but on the other hand, he knows she can take care of herself. he wants to protect her because he loves her. but that kind of love is hard for kendra to accept. and so they find themselves at an impasse.

one that remains at a standstill by the end of the novel.

**a twist in time will publish on april 11, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/pegasus books in exchange for my honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. No spam please. Let's keep things fun and nice and respectful.