February 21, 2013 - by Liz (http://www.thebookwranglers.com/p/who-we-are.html)
Read from February 19 to 21, 2013
We start off with a quick look into the life of Genevieve, a 15th century nun who is meeting the love of her life, a priest named Andrew to talk about leaving the Abbey. When you start the book, you think that Genevieve and Andrew's love is the reason they decide to leave the church. But once the story really starts rolling you see that Genevieve has not had an easy life. In fact, she's struggled through more than most people could handle in a lifetime by the time she's just 14. She thought she'd found her place in the world when she arrived at the Abbey and met the Mother Superior who was "more mother, and less superior". Living happily there for four years, she learn to love her surroundings, her fellow nuns, and the lifestyle. But when a new Abbess comes to take over, Genevieve's hard-won life of peace is changed forever.
We also follow the life of Anne, a woman on vacation in England with her former lover Neil. They are avid mountaineers and we join them mid-trek through a rather ominous forest. The purpose of the trip is to reunite them after a two year separation due to infidelity on Neil's part. When Anne starts having strange visions of a certain 15th century nun, she learns more and more about what happened to Genevieve all those years ago. Anne wonders about what part she plays in Genevieve's life and death as they unravel the nun's story.
The two stories are equally compelling because something is connecting these two women who lived over 500 years apart ...the question is: Are they joined by mutual love or desperate hate?
The Best Thing: The dual narrative was done really, really well. Especially with the added challenge of flashbacks and paranormal activity. I was impressed by the masterful way the stories were melded and the seamless historical elements that were included throughout. The research and knowledge on a range of subjects that was shown in this book was impressive for the genre its in.
The Worst Thing: I felt there was a problem with the modern romance part of the story. The character of Neil didn't seem authentic. There was no real insight into who he was as a person and, instead, he seemed to be a tool for relaying bits of information and a prop to fill the reincarnation parts of the story. The romantic relationships in the story came off as a bit hokey in general, which was disappointing because the story itself was such a fascinating one. It was also surprising because the paranormal aspects of the story were flawlessly executed.
Overall: Definitely worth a read and it serves as an interesting book in terms of crossing genre lines. I'm an avid young adult, fantasy, and classic novelist, so to read and truly enjoy a paranormal, historical romance was a wonderful surprise! 4 out of 5.