The year is 1813 and Nell Dodsworth is a twenty-six year old governess at Haunchcroft Estate whose ward, Abigale, has just died. Abigale's father, Mr Sebastian Buchannan, makes unwanted advances and calls her "disturbingly beautiful". One night, Nell follows an intruder and the repercussions of this decision will affect the lives of many for years to come. The stranger is Jeremy Chambers, a time traveler she somehow travels forward with in time to 1968. While Nell ends up falling for him, Jeremy remains unmoved, mourning the loss of the mysterious Mirren. What are Jeremy's motivations for manipulating time? And what other secret is Jeremy keeping from Nell? When Nell returns to her time, family secrets are hinted at and later revealed. When she once again travels into the future (this time to 2014), she discovers just how her time traveling has affected the lives of others. Will Nell ever be able to set things right?
This book has a few problems, including editing errors, unsympathetic characters, and a lack of cohesion between the different story lines. The book gets off to a very slow start, but progresses more quickly when Nell travels to the 1960s. While her visit to the future is interesting and her old-fashioned language and conventions are quaint and amusing, the whole thing just doesn't ring true. I would expect her to show more amazement at how much things have changed since the 1800s. This time travel episode is also quite long, and there doesn't seem to be much point to it. Nell's second visit into the future is even more unsatisfying, although everything seems to come together in the end.
Overall, this is an interesting and entertaining read. Even though it is the first in a series, the story in this book is complete.
I received this book in return for an honest review.