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Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
Somewhere to Begin Again by Verna Clay introduces Quince Calloway, who takes leave to explore his past incarnation. Arriving in Somewhere, Oregon, Quince enters Sandy Gutierrez’s swimwear shop. The couple experiences a “zing” when they touch, and exiting, find themselves back in 1945. Quince is a detective known as Caleb and Sandy is bookstore owner Darby Brown. Caleb must find out why little Rose Hope disappeared in 1923, followed by her mother, Belinda. Even if he solves the case, Quince fears he may experience his own death. Are Quince and Sandy fated to develop a relationship and will they ever get home to their correct era?
Somewhere to Begin Again by Verna Clay combines feel-good romance with time travel and a detective story. I was attracted to the book by the name of the town, “Somewhere,” which of course sounds imaginary, but might be located on a map! I liked the fact that Sandy was completely confused by the transfer into the past, while Caleb retained some vestiges of memory. This created alternate perspectives on the same plot, which I thought was interesting. I enjoyed unpacking the stories within the story as Caleb uncovers the fates of the two missing persons. At least two of the outcomes surprised me, generating a stimulating reading experience. I enjoyed reading descriptions of the setting, which was a beautiful seaside community with a well-developed history. This book was like enjoying a stopover with old friends and left me keen to visit the fictional community again.