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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
Like so many ‘small town’ young people, Natalie Ogier left her home on the beautiful island of Guernsey for university and stayed in London to experience life in the big city in Echoes of Time by Anne Allen. After surviving an abusive relationship, though, Natalie moves back to Guernsey where she purchases a beautiful new home, built on the site of an old farmhouse which had been destroyed by fire over 20 years earlier. Near her parents and best friend, and far from the former boyfriend, Natalie expects to relax and enjoy life. That is, at least, until she is disturbed by visions, horrific dreams, and even some active paranormal events. Natalie seems to be tied into the past with the original owners of the farm, who happen to have been her neighbor’s grandparents – or she is losing her mind? As Natalie develops a relationship with her neighbor, Stuart, the past invades more frequently. When Stuart’s mother arrives to visit and enters the property where she had grown up, the events take on even more sinister overtones. The spirit that tells Natalie to ‘Go away!’ is definitely violent, but when Tabby sees her parents for herself, Natalie finally accepts that she needs help outside the normal channels. The only question is how to set the past right and have these spirits move on.
Superbly written, Echoes of Time is captivating, exciting, sad, bittersweet and yet hopeful and full of happiness. Anne Allen lovingly depicts the place and people of Guernsey and seamlessly combines the past and present, telling almost parallel stories that come to a joint resolution. Even the cover art lends to the dual time setting that is the basis for the overall narrative. This is perfect as a stand-alone story even though it is actually the fifth in The Guernsey Novels. It is quite easy to read without any reference to the previous volumes. For history, romance, paranormal action and just plain great reading, Echoes of Time is a wonderful book.