I’m thrilled to be closing off a blog tour hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources, this time with a book review of Living in the Past, by Jane Lovering, published by Choc-Lit.
Do you ever wish you could turn back time?
Grace Nicholls has a few reasons for wanting to turn back the clock … although an archaeological dig at a Bronze Age settlement on the Yorkshire moors is not what she had in mind. But encouraged by her best friend Tabitha, that’s exactly where she finds herself.
Professor Duncan McDonald is the site director and his earnest pursuit of digging up the past makes him appear distant and unreachable. But when a woman on the site goes missing, it seems that his own past might be coming back to haunt him once again.
As they dig deeper, Duncan and Grace get more than they bargained for – and come to realise that the past is much closer than either of them ever imagined …
Living in the Past is a lovely story about grief and healing from loss, as well as the impact we have on other people’s lives, often without realising it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the humour woven throughout the story, often giggling out loud at the wordplay between the characters.
For a change, the romantic hero in the story was actually not a complete jerk to begin with, and even when Duncan was being a bit “crabbit” as he referred to himself, he actually wasn’t running anyone down or being condescending.
Grace Nicholls, as the leading lady, was a bit of an odd one. On the one hand, I could understand and sympathise with her grief. On the other, the way she expected everyone who cared about her, to leave her alone to wallow in misery, was mildly painful. Her understanding and acceptance of Duncan’s past and the way it impacted on his present was lovely.
Tabitha and Millie, as supporting characters, were absolutely delightful, although I was a bit bewildered by Grace not sharing her experience with Tabitha, when they’d been friends for so long and she’d relied on her so heavily during her grieving process. The pair of them sort of just dropped out of sight once the relationship between Duncan and Grace established itself, and that was mildly disappointing.
The interludes in the past were wonderful, and I loved seeing Hen’s story unfold, though the reality of who she was, wasn’t hard to guess, so don’t expect too much of a mystery. I enjoyed the way Lovering dealt with time travel, how it all came together at the end, and that everything was neatly wrapped up. It almost felt like there should have been a bow wrapped round the final page.
All in all, Living in the Past dealt with some difficult topics in a poignant and hopeful manner, and it richly deserves its rating of four out of five feathers.
Grab your copy here.
*I received a free copy of the book from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Jane was born in Devon and now lives in Yorkshire. She has five children, four cats and two dogs of variable sanity. She works in a local supermarket and also teaches creative writing. Jane is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has a first-class honours degree in creative writing.
Jane writes comedies which are often described as ‘quirky’. Her debut, Please don’t stop the music, won the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year and the Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year Awards from the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Jane’s novels include: Please don’t stop the music, Star Struck, Hubble Bubble, Vampire State of Mind, Falling Apart, How I Wonder What You Are, I Don’t Want to Talk About It, Can’t Buy Me Love, Little Teashop of Horrors and Living in the Past.
Social Media Links:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/janelovering
Website – http://www.janelovering.co.uk/