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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
Outlander meets art in Storm at the Keizer Manor by Ramcy Diek. Annet, a pregnant woman from the 21st century, finds herself in the 1800s after she had gone for a walk in the dunes with her boyfriend, Forrest (the father of her unborn child). A storm had surprised them, and apparently transported her - but not him - back in time. Unfortunately for Forrest, some people became suspicious of him because he had last been seen having an argument with his girlfriend. Part of the novel concerns itself with his search for Annet, but the majority of the novel is about how Annet deals with life in the 1800s, and how the outspoken woman who loves to swear and carries a child out of wedlock ends up in a monastery of all places. Initially, Annet thinks it's all a prank, but then she meets the 19th century master painter Alexander Keizer, whose paintings are exhibited in the museum she work for, and who should be long dead. Annet accepts her fate, but wants to find a way home. However, the longer she stays in the past, the more she learns about what has been going on in her life, and what she really needs for happiness.
Readers who love time travel romances, Outlander for example, will feel right at home in the pages of Storm at the Keizer Manor by Ramcy Diek. The novel is not as rich in history as the Outlander series (which has a bit too much of everything for my taste - too much sex, too much history, too many long, winding passages that say nothing at all), but that's not a bad thing. Readers will learn quite a bit about industrialization, especially when it comes to sewing and the sewing machine. The main focus, however, is not on history, but on the development of Annet. I found the novel to be a very pleasant experience and it was also exciting in a certain way. There is, obviously, some romance going on, but it's not over the top, and naked bodies are clearly not the selling point of this novel. It has substance, and I found the ending rather satisfying. I was hoping it would end that way! It's not a taxing read, and ideal for comfortable reading sessions at the end of a busy day.