If only in my dreams

Posted by reviewer | 2:42 PM | , , | 0 comments »

If only in my dreams, By Wendy Markham

Published by, Signet December 2006
Grade: C+

Back cover reads:
Imagine Clara McCallum's astonishment when she steps off an old-fashioned locomotive from a movie set and finds herself whisked back in time to 1941, and into the arms of Jed Landry, a man whom Clara has read about and studied, a man who is very much alive in 1941 but whom she knows will die a hero at Normandy three years later-or is it 62 years ago?

Clara's convinced it's some sort of hallucination, but before long she finds herself swept away by the handsome soldier, and wondering if maybe her plunge into the past could change the course of the future-and turn out to be the best Christmas present ever.

It was hard for me to grade this book. It started off so very slow that I almost stopped reading it and had planned to mark it as a DNF.

Clara does somehow go back in time. She steps off the train and she spends like an hour there. She meets Jed Landry and freaks outs. She is able to get travel to 2006 by getting on the train she has just gotten off.

She spends a lot of time going back and forth on whether or not her trip back in time really happened. I'm talking a few chapters length, not just a few pages. It went on and on. I was very bored. The constant 'It could not have happened-not possible' to the 'well, maybe...' was tiresome.

Clara knows that the man she met when she was in the past is going to die in the war. She felt a strong connection to him when she was with him and she decides that she will go back to the past again, and try to stop him from going to war. Armed with information about the community after searching old newspapers clippings she hops back on the train and goes back to Jed.

Meanwhile, back in 40's, Jed is thinking that Clara is a spy. She had left behind her ipod when she took off and he thinks it's some sort of transmission device. Thinking that she can hear, he talks into the ipod and asks her to come back to him. She arrives a few minutes later and they run into each others arms and kiss.

Clara spends a few days with Jed in his time. She has fallen in love with him and she wants to stay with him forever, but she has breast cancer and there is no way she can survive it if she stays with him. They talk for a second about Jed going to the future with her, but he has to stay and take care of his family. Jed wants her to stay a few extra minutes so that he can give her a Christmas present...a snow globe that she admired. She decides she can't wait any longer. They declare their love for one another and Jed promises to find her. He doesn't know where or when, but he tells her to look for him.

Clara gets back on the train to her own time. One of the first things she does after arriving back home is to look online to see if Jed enlisted in the army. He did, and he died. I almost started crying right there.

Someone who is related to Jed who knew that Clara was a time traveler, finds her and gives her a letter than Jed wrote to her after they saw each other for the last time. In the letter he says sorry for going to war, but he had to do it. He can't just sit around and wait for her to come back, when he knows that she never will. One of the things he says in the letter is
'Just don't stop looking for me, because some day I'll be there, like I promised. Maybe not in the way either of us would have wanted, or in the way you'd expect. But you'll know it's me. I'll make sure of it.'

Tears sprang to my eyes while I read the letter.

I didn't mention Drew yet, but he is a guy who lives in Clara's building that she has talked to a few times. He seems familiar to her, but she doesn't know from where.

He sends her secret santa gifts, and the most current is a ticket to the Nutcracker. She thinks and hopes that the secret Santa is Jed, but deep down she knows it can't be true because Jed died 60 years ago. Drew and Clara spend Christmas eve together and she is shocked that Drew seems to know little things about her. She carries things in her mittens, she collects stuff for scrap booking etc.o

Then Drew gives her a present. He says he saw it in an antique store and just had to get it for her.
It's the snow globe that Jed was going to give her. It's the very same one. She knows because of the broken tip on the wing of the angle.

Then she remembers the part of the letter that I quoted, and she knows that Drew is meant for her. He is Jed.

By that point the tears were running down my face.

If you had told me that I would like the outcome of a romance where the hero dies I would have told you that you were on crack. I liked this story. It was hard reading at first because it was slow paced, but the end more than made up for that.

I'm happy that I didn't make it a DNF. It was really close though. Thats why I gave a it a C, and not higher. It's not perfect, so I wont give it an A, and the slowness went on for way too long for me to give it a B in good faith. So a C+ it is.
I'll be reading this book over and over again. I'll be skipping the boring parts though.

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