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By Erryn Barratt on 01-04-18
Synesthesia and an exciting time travel romance
I loved this book!
Normally I start my review with comments about the book, but I wanted to start this one with discussing the narrator. Karen Krause deserves kudos as she was perfect with Verity’s British, Truman’s Scots, and Rom’s Indian accents. She never fell into stereotypes, instead infusing each character with a unique and strong voice. She did a great job.
Now, to the story. I have great admiration for authors who tackle either historical or paranormal books. Brynn does both and does it well.
Verity Montague is trying to survive living in Salem, Massachusetts circa 1692. With her mismatched eyes and odd brother (whose Asperger’s was considered to be the devil’s work). The book opens with a high tension scene that sets up Verity and the direness of her situation. With her scenes being written in the first person, there is an immediacy to her story.
When the story flips to Truman in the present day, told through the third person point-of-view, it lets the listener know things are changing. The pacing slows as we learn about this man whose chosen vocation is working with children with Asperger’s. This important job gives this former orphan a sense of purpose.
The final POV is John’s, Verity’s brother. His mind is clear, even if he isn’t able to communicate clearly, and his scenes are just as terrifying as he faces an uncertain fate during the witch trials.
Truman and Verity’s synesthesia differentiate them from those around them. For Truman, in addition to having the ability to see the colored auras surrounding people, words have tastes to him, and he has a built-in lie detector. These abilities, I believe, make him more open to accepting the impossible. Like communicating with a woman from another century.
Verity is Truman’s impossibility. A young woman desperate to save her brother. Her love for John is strong as she feels protective of them because they are orphans, dependent on the kindness of strangers. Truman is the answer to her prayer, even if his world is beyond her comprehension or understanding. For Truman, Verity’s name tastes like snow – pure and refreshing. He never hesitates to do everything he can to rescue this ethereal figure.
I only know Salem by reputation and Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” Brynn’s evident research brings that time period to life for me. That Verity can see through time and space intrigues me. I loved learning more about synesthesia, a condition has always fascinated me, and her understanding of Asperger’s and other disorders was well-done.
This book pulled me in from the beginning, held me intrigued through the time travel, and kept me breathlessly hoping for a happy ending. Definitely an enjoyable book for lovers of history, the paranormal, time travel, and – above all else – love.
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