An English teen questions all she knows about aging when she encounters a set of journals that date from the present back to the reign of King Louis XIV in this blend of contemporary and historical fiction from the author of the acclaimed Gideon trilogy.
Stella Park (Spark for short) has found summer work cataloging historical archives in John Stone’s remote and beautiful house in Suffolk, England. She wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and her uncertainty about living at Stowney House only increases upon arriving: what kind of people live in the twenty-first century without using electricity, telephones, or even a washing machine? Additionally, the notebooks she’s organizing span centuries—they begin in the court of Louis XIV in Versailles—but are written in the same hand. Something strange is going on for sure, and Spark’s questions are piling up. Who exactly is John Stone? What connection does he have to these notebooks? And more importantly, why did he hire her in the first place?
Linda Buckley-Archer is the author of the critically acclaimed Gideon trilogy. Originally trained as a linguist, she is now a full-time novelist and scriptwriter. She has written a television drama for the BBC and several radio dramas, as well as various journalistic pieces for papers like the Independent. The Gideon Trilogy was inspired by the criminal underworld of eighteenth-century London.
"I loved this book. The world it conjures up is so vividly imagined, and John Stone, the mysterious man at its heart, so fascinating and compelling. It’s a licence to imagine, and an invitation to consider deeply what we mean by ‘lifetime.’ Original, thought-provoking and moving, it’s a classic in the mould of LOST HORIZON.”
– M.L. Stedman, author of THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS
"Buckley-Archer paints an absorbing portrait of the court of Versailles...Good historical fiction with a paranormal twist."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Delicately balancing history, estrangement, reconciliation, and hope, the story powerfully depicts the fierce, abiding love of family: natural, adopted, and found."
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"Exceptionally well-orchestrated and a simply magnificent story."
– Booklist, starred review
*"Passion, intrigue and uncertain loyalties span the centuries in this slow-burning pageturner that's breathtaking in scope and thought-provoking to the end."
– Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Rich in historical detail and subtly supernatural yet ultimately relatable, this affecting, intelligent tale addresses themes of forging one’s own identity, finding one’s niche, and discovering what it means to truly live."