The Whirlpools of Time

Romance - Historical
390 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

What happens when two people from two different timelines meet and fall in love? The Whirlpools of Time by Anna Belfrage offers a surprising answer to this question and transports readers on a romantic ride to strong moments in history. Duncan Melville’s life in 1715 is successful but lonely. When he finds himself unwittingly transported to 2016, he is stunned as he struggles to make sense of this new world. But everything changes when he meets Erin Barnes and risks his life to save hers. The attraction between them is mutual, even if Erin has no plans of getting into anything deeper than friendship with the strangely dressed man. When they are thrust back to 1715, they find themselves enmeshed in an adventure to find Duncan’s uncle, crossing an unforgiving Scottish landscape in a world on the brink of war. Can they locate Duncan’s uncle and can Erin find the portal back to the future?

Anna Belfrage’s story is captivating and is one of the most original stories I have read that combines elements of time travel, romance, adventure, and history to build an exciting world for readers to navigate. She writes in beautiful, mostly descriptive prose that captures strong moments in the plot, the emotions of the characters, and the elements of the setting with forensic accuracy. The contrast between the worlds of Erin and Duncan is intelligently written; one is a historical setting and the other features a modern world ruled by technology and the media. The story is accomplished and affecting, tightly plotted, and the writing flows gracefully. The Whirlpools of Time is character-driven and the author’s careful and detailed execution of the setting adds a deeper layer of richness to an already superbly entertaining romance. It features strong plot points and a robust conflict; it is an utterly satisfying read with an unexpected denouement.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Strange things happen at the crossroads. Grandma Alex warned that it wasn’t a safe place to be. It holds some sort of mystical power. Magic? Or is it a wormhole to another time? From past to present to past? And if trapped in another time, can the person ever hope to return to their point of origin? Duncan Melville is from the early eighteenth century. His business trip takes him past the crossroads in the middle of a violent thunderstorm. Suddenly he’s no longer in his own time, 1715, but four hundred years in the future, 2016, and he’s rescuing a woman’s he’s never met before, Erin, a damsel in distress. Add to that a fated locket, a charmed love story caught between times, and a challenging dose of history and you have the makings of a great historical, paranormal, fantasy romance. Where will the two live? In the future - 2016? Or in the past - 1715?

Anna Belfrage’s novel, The Whirlpools of Time, is a fascinating look at two eras in history. With clever use of ambiance, the author parallels the conflicting eras, reflecting on the role of women in eighteenth-century society versus women in the twenty-first century. She also presents another conflicting issue: the role of black people. In the seventeenth century, black people were considered slaves. Erin, from the twenty-first century, is dark-skinned and even admits to black ancestry. Tossed back into the eighteenth century, in love with a white man, and the societal conflicts compound themselves. The author knows her history, past, and present, and weaves a compelling plot around the two eras, adding adventure and mystery to the mix. Strong writing skills, impeccable characterization, and a descriptive narrative ensure the reader is drawn into the story from the very beginning and held riveted right to the very end. A fascinating read.

Romuald Dzemo

Anna Belfrage’s The Whirlpools of Time is a unique blend of romance and time travel, a story that follows two characters from two distinct timelines as their paths collide in love. Duncan Melville is a legal professional living in 1715, and although his life is successful, it lacks the spice of love. Being torn away from the life he has built is the last thing he could ever have imagined, but he finds himself transported to the future, to 2016 precisely, where he meets and falls in love with Erin Barnes, a woman who doesn’t have plans to get involved emotionally with any man. Risking his life for Erin gets her attention. Falling in love is just the beginning of a dangerous adventure as Erin and Duncan find themselves in 1715 and involved in the search for Duncan’s uncle through the treacherous political, social, and physical landscapes of Scotland. While Erin struggles to fit into her new world, she also has worries about her future. Does she belong to the past or the future where she comes from and how does she get back to the future?

Anna Belfrage crafts a highly imaginative story and creates characters that are sophisticated and relatable. They come from two completely different cultures and this alone is the basis of the conflict that affects them at different levels: emotional, psychological, and physical. From the first encounter between Duncan and Erin, the reader is amused by the awkwardness of the situation and at the way that Erin looks at Duncan. Anna Belfrage’s writing is top-rate, her plotting is cunning, and her characters are exceptionally written. What amazed me is the care she gives to the setting, writing about cultures and environments in a vivid and atmospheric manner. I found The Whirlpools of Time to be very engaging and entertaining with characters that are hard to forget.