Did Not Finish: I was only able to complete roughly 1/3 of the book
Synopsis: Thorne Manor has always been haunted…and it has always haunted Bronwyn Dale. As a young girl, Bronwyn could pass through a time slip in her great-aunt’s house, where she visited William Thorne, a boy her own age, born two centuries earlier. After a family tragedy, the house was shuttered and Bronwyn was convinced that William existed only in her imagination. Now, twenty years later Bronwyn inherits Thorne Manor. And when she returns, William is waiting. William Thorne is no longer the boy she remembers. He’s a difficult and tempestuous man, his own life marred by tragedy and a scandal that had him retreating to self-imposed exile in his beloved moors. He’s also none too pleased with Bronwyn for abandoning him all those years ago. As their friendship rekindles and sparks into something more, Bronwyn must also deal with ghosts in the present version of the house. Soon she realizes they are linked to William and the secret scandal that drove him back to Thorne Manor. To build a future, Bronwyn must confront the past.
Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Gothic, Historical Fiction
Published: October 13th, 2020
Length: 336 pages
My rating: DNF
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.21/5
Normally, I really enjoy Kelley Armstrong’s books. She is one of the authors where if I see her name on the cover, I will give the book a chance without a second thought. Her Women of the Otherworld series was great, as was her Nadia Stafford series, and I have read them both multiple times. Armstrong is able to write a diverse mix of fantasy, thriller and crime fiction with equal success, so when I saw this new book about time slips and romance, I had to take a look. She had my attention up until Chapter 12, but when I saw how much I had left to read, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
The main character Bronwyn has great potential. She is a 38-year-old professor living in Canada (yay!), widowed early and searching for meaning in her life. I would also like to note that she is described as not a stick-figure with rock hard abs, but as a normal 38 year old with curves who is comfortable with her body. So far, so good!
The first chapter had me scrambling a bit, since I didn’t know quite what time period we were in until mentions of airbnb-like home rentals and cellphones came up. Still, I like when the author builds up the setting gradually to set the scene. The other characters who are introduced have the potential to become quite interesting as well.
I became slightly put off as the story went on, not by the plot, which so far held promise, but with the little things. A clearly not-well-off professor could somehow afford a summer “sabbatical” where instead of working on a paper she plans on renovating a dilapidated old manor in Europe? I know, it’s a fiction book, but maybe don’t continually emphasize her financial state when the next sentence involves a lot of unnecessary home improvement purchases?
As the synopsis mentions, there is a time slip in Bronwyn’s old bedroom in the manor, which connects some 200 years in the past to the old occupants room. Of course, it’s a boy exactly the same age she is, and they grow up and fall in love. As it turns out, William is a bit miffed that Bronwyn stopped visiting for about 23 years, and it takes some classic midnight bumblings/constant harassment on Bronwyn’s part to get him to thaw out and talk to her again. Oh, and in the meantime she adopts a kitten, eats about a thousand scones and is haunted by another, far less desirable, ghost.
••Very minor Spoilers ahead••
The part that ultimately lost me is when William and Bronwyn finally reconnect, and spend a nice afternoon playing dress up, eating (you guessed it, more scones), and Bronwyn teaching William how to use a smart phone.
**Minor Spoilers finished**
I try to keep an open mind while reading, and I have no problem with some lighthearted cheesy scenes, I even enjoy them! But this…was just too much. I reached that point where I no longer had any interest in picking up the book, and I decided not to force myself to read the rest. I didn’t provide a rating for A Stitch in Time, because for all I know the book gets infinitely better in the last two thirds. Clearly it’s well liked, as Goodreads gives it a 4.21/5, so maybe it’s just me. Quite possibly, my appreciation for Armstrong’s previous books spoiled this one for me, since it deviates strongly from her other writing in terms of subject matter and tone.
If romance is your genre, I would give this book a try! The characters are good, and it’s got a strong rom-com vibe with a hint of gothic paranormal, kind of like P.S. I Love You meets The Lakehouse.