Thursday 23 May 2019

A Rip in the Veil by Anna Belfrage

Shortlisted for Book of the Month

"The story is easy-flowing and exciting, the difference between the two lead characters - Alex is a very forthright twenty-first-century woman, Matthew a very down to earth seventeenth-century man - is superbly handled."


(The Graham Saga Book 1) 

fictional saga /fantasy / time slip /romance


"On a muggy August day in 2002 Alex Lind disappears without a trace. On an equally stifling August day in 1658, Matthew Graham finds her on an empty Scottish moor. Life will never be the same for Alex – or for Matthew. Due to a series of rare occurrences, Alexandra Lind is thrown three centuries backwards in time. She lands at the feet of Matthew Graham – an escaped convict making his way home to Scotland in this the year of our Lord, 1658. Matthew doesn’t quite know what to make of this concussed and injured woman who has seemingly fallen from the skies- what is she, a witch? Alex gawks at this tall, gaunt man with hazel eyes, dressed in what to her mostly looks like rags. At first, she thinks he might be some sort of hermit, an oddball, but she quickly realises the odd one out is she, not he. Catapulted from a life of modern comfort, Alex grapples with this new existence, further complicated by the dawning realization that someone from her time has followed her here – and not exactly to extend a helping hand. Potential compensation for this brutal shift in fate comes in the shape of Matthew – a man she should never have met, not when she was born three centuries after him. But for all that Matthew quickly proves himself a willing and most capable protector he comes with baggage of his own, and on occasion, it seems his past will see him killed. At times Alex finds it all excessively exciting, longing for the structured life she used to have. How will she ever get back? And more importantly, does she want to?"

I love a good time-slip novel and A Rip In The Veil, the first of a stunning series, is very definitely, good. 

Alexandra - Alex - is to fall in love with Matthew Graham. Nothing odd about that in a novel of historical fiction, except Matthew existed and lived several hundred years before Alex was born, and they were to meet (and fall in love) after Alex falls through - literally - a rip in the veil of time. 

The story is easy-flowing and exciting, the difference between the two lead characters - Alex is a very forthright twenty-first-century woman, Matthew a very down to earth seventeenth-century man - is superbly handled. The factual history of the period and the upheaval and unrest in 1658 Scotland between the English and the Scots is also superbly done, with the fictional elements, the magical fantasy bits all seamlessly entwined with the very real sense of era and location that Ms Belfrage has created.

This is the second time I've read this novel (and yes I have read the entire series) and I enjoyed it even more second time around. I will go on and read the rest of the series now, for Alex and Matthew and the joys, sadnesses, horrors and delights that await them in the next books beckons with pleasurable anticipation. I must also add that I am most impressed by the cover design of this book, and the entire series. 

Invariably, the Graham Saga series will be compared to the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. Personal opinion, but I think these are better.

My only comment would be: more please Ms Belfrage. More.

© Anne Holt

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  1. Eeeeeek! What a lovely, lovely surprise - and what a lovely, lovely review! Doing a bit of tap-dancing here. This made my day. Thank you!

  2. I loved this book also! lovely review!

  3. I loved the whole saga! It is a perfect entry-book both to historical fiction and to english language litterature for other nativ language audience. A rip in the vail has everything you can wish for from a good book!

    1. Tack ömmamoder! Thank you for that lovely comment. Makes me feel like it is time to write nr ten...


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