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4.4 out of 5 stars354
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 November 2012
I read this in one sitting after buying it on a whim. The central character, Grace, returns to England following the death of her godmother. She moves into her godmother's house and starts to become aware of an unsettling presence there. She begins to have vivid nightmares of drowning and episodes where she feels haunted by the experiences of Hawise, a young woman living in Elizabethan York. The sense of menace builds slowly throughout the novel, helped by the constant and claustrophic theme of water. You feel that the threads of Hawise's and Grace's lives are being interwoven inexorably together. The author's descriptions of Elizabethan York are very atmospheric and really add to the strength of the story. She skilfully blends the stories of Hawise and Grace without a sense of jarring. Would thoroughly recommend for a cosy afternoon by the fire read!
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on 3 September 2012
This is one of the best historical novels I have ever read (and I'm not normally a great fan of time-slip as a sub-genre). Both 16th-century and 21st-century York are evoked with incredible, tactile detail, making the parallel and intertwining stories of Grace and Hawise very real. It is also one of the most spine-chilling stories I've ever encountered, right up there with Susan Hill's Woman in Black. I was both wanting to turn the pages frantically, desperate to know what would happen to these two women, and wanting to slow down, to savour the very high-quality writing and the fascinating historical detail. Not a dull moment, not an unconvincing character, not a single grating anachronism. I am a very picky reader, and quite ready to abandon a book that doesn't work for me. This one was so good that when I read the last page I was tempted to go right back to the beginning and read it all over again.
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on 28 January 2013
This book got better as it went along. At first I found the time shifts quite clunky, but they got more seamless as the book progressed. The depiction of Tudor York was vivid, especially the restricted lives of women for whom a "good name" meant the difference between respectability and destitution. The story was maybe spoiled to some extent by the knowledge of Hawise's fate which the reader knew was coming but took a long time to arrive. I also would have liked some attempt to differentiate the 16th and 21st century dialogue.

I thought some of the modern "parallel" characters were a bit contrived, the watery leitmotiv a bit laboured, and I'd had enough of rotten apples well before the climax! And I still wasn't sure by the end whether Grace was a reincarnation of Hawise or possessed by her spirit. However the book did have some spooky moments, especially when Grace tried to get to the station to leave York, and in general it was a good read.
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I was very excited about starting Time's Echo - the cover and the blurb had me hooked immediately, and I'm a huge fan of books that have something a little bit different to them! This was no exception, in fact, the opening chapter was especially gripping and I'm sure like me it will have many readers hooked and desperate to delve further into the book and find out more about what is happening.

I don't want to say too much so as not to spoil anything, because the story is constantly unravelling as you read the book, and so all I can fo is urge you to pick it up! It is a time slip book, partly set in the 1500′s and partly in the present day, with the character of Hawsie in the past, and Grace in the present day who is being drawn into Hawsie's life.

I find with time slip novels sometimes I prefer one time period over the other and always look forward to that part, but with Time's Echo this is not the case at all. Each setting was equally as absorbing and compelling, and the two time settings existed perfectly with each other, flowing beautifully from one to the other.

Time's Echo explores the subjects of witches and witchcraft and what happened to people suspected of being witches, and I must say personally I am a huge fan of books that involve witches, I find it so fascinating and for me I enjoyed the book very much because of this aspect. The descriptions in the book are very well written, so vivid that I could picture every scene in my mind, and the thing I liked most was that I didn't know where the plot would take me, so I was always guessing, then guessing again!

Time's Echo is full of tension, drama, history, love, superstition, and it is a book that is so thrilling you won't be able to put it down! There is danger and tension throughout which had me on the edge of my seat. A great novel!
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With most dual time narratives there is a tendency to favour one time period over another, but in Time's Echo both time frames are equally valid with neither one trying to outshine the other. The natural blending of the storyline with parallels in both the past and the future is seamless, and as both Grace and Hawise spiral out of control, the story takes on a momentum all of its own. From the beginning the story explores the historical significance of everyday life in Elizabethan York, and as Hawise and the ordinary people go about their everyday business, a story of thwarted lust, greed and ignorant superstition begins to evolve. In modern day York, Grace battles her own demons whilst at the same time experiences the insecurities and challenges of living day to day in two very different time periods.
Without doubt this is an extraordinarily good debut novel. Pamela Hartshorne is a very talented storyteller, and in Times Echo she has combined her love of history, with a totally believable story of malicious superstition and overwhelming evil.
Time's Echo one of those rare finds that you want to keep on your book shelf in order to reread and discover all over again.
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on 25 September 2012
Since the Boxing Day tsunami Grace has wandered the world unable to commit to any place or anyone. Her godmother's death forces a prolonged stay in York where to Grace's dismay, she finds herself drawn to Drew, her next door neighbour and his teenage daughter. Even worse she finds herself experiencing vivid dreams and flashbacks of Elizabethan York, seen through the eyes of Hawise, a young woman trapped first by circumstance and then by obsession. Is Grace possessed or is she suffering from PTSD? And how can she stop herself from sharing Hawise's tragic fate?
This book was completely riveting, I carried it around not wanting to stop reading - and yet at times almost too scared to carry on. Both Hawise and Grace are fascinating heroines and York itself is beautifully drawn, the past city contrasting with the present. The author brings the Elizabethan city to life through sights, smells and vivid characters some who were real Elizabethan citizens of the city. I was almost relieved to reach the end I was so tense by then and found myself in tears when I did. If you love ghost stories, romantic stories, historical novels or timeslips then you will love this book. I did.
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What an excellent read this was - I'm a massive fan of time slip novels, and having been rather disappointed by the latest Rachel Hore it's wonderful to come across someone who does it so well. The familiar York setting added to my enjoyment, and although the author admits to taking some liberties with history (no plague in that time frame in York) the historical setting is really well done, with its vivid descriptions, smells and colours. The unpredictability of the time slippage is deftly handled, and there's a wonderfully unsettling sense of evil and malice throughout. Modern and historical stories are equally strong, with strong characters in both, and there's no discomfort moving between the two time frames. I was intrigued to find - doing a little research - that this author isn't a debut novelist as I thought but has a vast Mills and Boon back catalogue writing under the name of Jessica Hart. Well, she's made the transition into a more substantial read, backed up by obvious meticulous research, quite superbly. Loved it.
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on 8 December 2012
I'm less than half way through this book and doubt if I'll finish it. It's written in the first person which I think takes more skill than Ms Hartshorne possesses and, despite her claim to have moved on from her Mills & Boon days, it seems to be just another 'girl meets boy' novel with a spooky twist. I can't find it in myself to like or sympathise with the modern day 'heroine' although I do quite like her Elizabethan counterpart. I'm sure her facts are accurate and I do find the sections set in the Elizabethan period quite interesting especially as I live in York - in fact I think a novel set wholly in that period would have been a much more attractive proposition.

Edit: Have just looked over other reviews and find I'm the only person not to like this book so maybe it's me!
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on 8 December 2012
Thought this would be good when I started it, but it became very repetitive without going anywhere, so I gave up about a third of the way through. The story of the historical characters was much more interesting than the modern day people who just went round in circles. Cannot recommend it.
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on 27 January 2013
Not a genre that I usually choose, but from the start I was hooked. The reader is able to feel the terror of the characters, particularly Grace as she is overtaken by the past. Although the plot is complicated, the manner in which it is written makes the reading a truly exciting experience and strangely believable.
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