Love in Another Time

A Sardinian Saga

Fiction - Womens
304 Pages
Reviewed on 04/18/2022
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Author Biography

Lexa Dudley Is married with four boys, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She lives in Suffolk with her husband and two dogs.
She started writing after she retired and has published three books all set in Sardinia, which is a place she fell in love with when she first visited the island with her family in 1972.
Her first novel, The Whispering Wind won prizes in the USA in 2014. Then Children of the Mists was a winner in Canada in 2016.
Now in her eighties, Lexa still enjoys holidays in Sardina and writing and has just published her third novel, Love in Another Time.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga by Lexa Dudley is a brilliantly plotted story that follows a grandmother’s adventure and the story of her granddaughter. It begins with Ellie Montford’s early years. Her parents are diplomats who are scarcely home, and when her school shuts down, she is sent to live with Polly’s family, who accept her as their own child. When she turns twenty, Ellie is asked by her parents, who are looking forward to retiring from active service, to join them on a vacation in Sardinia. It is here she falls in love with Gino, a professor, but the experience is short-lived. Sara is Ellie’s granddaughter and she has a strong bond with her. When Sara travels to Sardinia, she uncovers a disturbing story about her grandmother, and this might stand in the way of her own happiness.

Lexa Dudley is a great storyteller who uses an evocative style of writing to grab the attention of the reader. The prose itself has a beauty and a music of its own. The childhoods of the characters are beautifully painted, and the images will fill some readers with nostalgia for the children they once were. Character development is wonderful and readers can easily feel these characters, especially in moments of their sadness and human frailty. They are as human as they are realistic, and this makes the story feel real to readers. Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga has a well-crafted setting, with places that are skillfully described and a timeline that lets readers know when the actions took place. It is gripping and delightful.

K.C. Finn

Love In Another Time: A Sardinian Saga is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama genre and was penned by author Lexa Dudley. Written for adults due to the presence of some moderate sex scenes, this novel spans the romance, family saga and drama genres to give an overview of the life story of central character Ellie Montford. Attending school in the 1940s, Ellie’s life changes when she is sent to reside with the family of a close friend, Polly. From here, Ellie blossoms into a confident woman who finds love in a foreign land, but it is cut short all too soon. What results is the tale of a grandmother looking back on her life and a granddaughter who uncovers secrets that she may come to regret.

Author Lexa Dudley puts great commitment into her character development for this novel, delivering authentic emotional prose with true depth and motivation behind every word and gesture. The work is relatively short and desires more detail in certain areas of the fast-moving plot, but the twists and turns are well planned out to deliver many intriguing and different experiences along the way. One of the most striking features is the presence of Sardinia in the tale, which is beautifully described and brought to life through excellent immersive language and cultural detail. Each character and relationship blossoms and develops on a strong arc throughout, and, overall, I think readers who enjoy a light but emotive family saga will highly rate Love In Another Time.

Deborah Lloyd

Ellie Montford’s parents, Ian and Isabel, spent most of their time traveling, as Ian worked in the diplomatic corps. Ellie’s best friend, Polly Smythe, and she attended the same boarding school. Ellie was always welcomed in the Smythe home, and she also became a close friend to Polly’s brother, Simon. In 1962, when Ellie was twenty years old, she joined her parents at their last assignment before her father’s retirement; Sardinia. Ellie became enchanted with the unique beauty of the island and its fascinating people. She also fell in love with Gino, a professor at the local university. Several decades later, when Ellie’s granddaughter Sara travels to Sardinia for her job, she learns some family secrets. In Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga, written by Lexa Dudley, a story of family and friendship connections between England and Sardinia unfold.

This novel is intriguing in many ways – the after-effects of World War II in Europe; the archaeological treasures in Sardinia; societal norms of the 1960s compared to the present time. Also explored are family relationships. Ellie created a close-knit family although she had been raised by a mother who was distant and more concerned with the status she and her husband could achieve. There is much joy and pain in the story. The author’s storytelling flows well, and she describes the landscape and the eras with clarity. Although many characters are introduced and developed, the reader can easily grasp the personality of each one. Author Lexa Dudley has written a lovely novel in Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga. An enjoyable read!

Josephine Strano D'Urso

Lexa Dudley’s Love in Another Time is a moving tale of loss and redemption, weaved into a picturesque and captivating setting. It’s the early sixties and Ellie, fresh out of school, moves to Sardinia with her parents, where her father has been assigned by the British Foreign Office. Ellie’s free spirit and generosity are hampered by her parents’ extreme ambition and rigid ways. That doesn’t stop her from satisfying her curiosity about her new surroundings and her desire to explore and mix with the locals, making new friends along the way. Her wish to improve her Italian leads her to meet the man of her dreams. But fate isn’t kind to Ellie, dealing her a terrible blow. Many years later her granddaughter Sara’s career brings her to retrace Ellie’s footsteps in Sardinia and, in finding her own true love, Sara unlocks a secret that shatters her world.

If with this novel Lexa Dudley’s intent was to entice readers into falling in love with Sardinia, she has succeeded! Love in Another Time is an engaging story, the sort that grabs readers and draws them in from the first pages, eager to know more. Ms. Dudley portrays places, people and local folklore with such precision and clarity it’s easy to be drawn into the intricate tapestry she weaves. The abundance of historical and cultural anecdotes and true-to-life characters bring the landscape to life. Just when I thought the ending was a foregone conclusion, a clever twist took me completely by surprise. Love in Another Time is an excellent read and I’ll most certainly recommend it to my friends.

Lesley Jones

In Love in Another Time by Lexa Dudley, the year is 1947 and Ellie di Montford returns to the country after the war. She is reunited with her best friend Polly and stays with them while her parents are away. Ellie enjoys being part of a loving family, something she has rarely experienced. Polly's elder brother Simon promises Ellie that when they are older, he will marry her. As Ellie reaches young adulthood in the 1960's she travels to Sardina to spend the holidays with her parents before her father's retirement as a diplomat in the Foreign Office. Ellie meets a young professor, Gino, and it is not long before they fall in love and are planning their future together. Ellie is not prepared for the events that follow which change the entire direction of her life. Years later, Ellie's granddaughter, Sara, travels to Sardina on a business trip and discovers an old newspaper clipping of her beloved grandmother Ellie. Sara makes a shocking discovery about her grandmother's past that could not only shatter their loving relationship but her entire family.

Love in Another Time by Lexa Dudley is a good, old-fashioned historical saga set across four generations. The plot is amazing, so detailed, engaging and interesting. Ellie's character jumps off the page, she is so likable and is someone you would want to meet. Even when her ghastly social-climbing mother was abusive to her, Ellie dealt with it with such grace and forgiveness. I truly wanted her to find happiness with the charming Gino. I loved learning about Sardina, a place I have never been but the descriptive narrative brings the beautiful country to life. There are interesting references to the different cultures and customs of the country which are cleverly weaved into the story. Simon was a wonderful character too, such a rock to Ellie and a man with amazing morals. The revelation at the end was a huge shock and so tragic. If you love novels that completely sweep you into the world of the characters, then I highly recommend you read Love In Another Time.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Ellie and Polly are best friends – they go to school together and they share holidays together at Polly’s farm in the English countryside. It’s 1947, Ellie’s parents travel a lot and she feels shunted aside. It doesn’t change much when, in 1961, Ellie joins her diplomat parents in Sardina for the holiday. Her mother now has grandiose ideas for Ellie’s future, but Ellie is a free spirit. When she falls in love with her tutor, Ellie shatters her mother’s plans, not just because the man Ellie falls for is beneath her standards, but also because, just before Ellie marries, her lover is tragically killed, leaving her as an unwed mother-to-be. It’s never easy being single, unattached and expecting a baby; even less so in the 1960s. There are more difficult decisions ahead for Ellie. After returning to England, her mother tries to clean up her daughter’s problem, brushing it under the carpet like so many other things in Ellie’s life. And, when Ellie does return to Sardina as an old woman, a grandmother, there are other unsettling discoveries that await her.

Lexa Dudley’s novel, Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga, is a different kind of love story. Set in two different worlds, England and Sardina, the saga unfolds in multiple eras, clearly depicting the evolutionary development of society, beginning with post World War II, the 1960s and the early years of the twenty-first century. The plot evolves from the main character Ellie’s childhood, through first love, to mature love of convenience before settling on the love of old age, where family outranks passion. It’s interesting following the author’s presentation of the social status of women in these three eras. It certainly makes the reader aware of how far we have come along, but we still have a long way to go. The characters, setting, and dialogue are well developed and believable. In many ways, this is a passionate and somewhat tragic love story but at the same time, it’s a character study of society in different timelines and in different worlds. A thought-provoking and sentimental read.