We start A Shadow in the Past with a prologue. 9 year old Sarah Shand goes to the stone circle with her grandmother. She has an inquisitive mind and through questioning her grandmother we are introduced to Weetshill Mansion, both it’s past and it’s present state of disrepair. The reader is also made aware of a paranormal event.
As Chapter One starts it is ten years later. Sarah is heartbroken over a recent split from her long-term boyfriend and gives her cause to question her friendships. She makes a drastic decision with leads to an accident and she loses consciousness. When she wakes, she stumbles her way to a building and before collapsing, realises it is Weetshill Mansion but it is no longer in disrepair.
When she wakes she thinks she’s in an historical re-enactment as the costumes of the people around her are from history. Looking at a newspaper tells her it is the same day and month … but the year is 1886.
While Sarah is trying to make sense of what is happening and becoming involved in the lives of those around her, briefly we see what is happening with her own family.
Sarah’s character is true to life…from the way she acts as a teenager in her own time to the uncertainty and fear of finding herself in 1886. Conflict and tension sees her grow and develop. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her relationship unfold with the young Jenny and the role she chose to play in her life. Sarah’s abduction and the secret that’s uncovered add conflict and tension.
Life in Victorian Scotland with it’s superstitions and expectations is well written. It was interesting to be able to step back in time and experience the medication and life in an asylum! I also learnt something about Scottish customs …rituals celebrating death and bethrothal. The kistin was written so well I felt as if I stood alongside Sarah.
I was glad to find out there is a sequel as I must admit to being a little disappointed at the end ...but that’s because I wanted all the loose ends to be tied up.