Book Review #5: “Mariana”

marianaThere’s this song, by the legendary alt-rock-country group Wilco, called “Box Full of Letters.” In it, lead singer Jeff Tweedy laments, “I just can’t find the time to write my mind the way I want it to read.”

The girls of No Boys Allowed Reviews know exactly what he’s singing about. Except in our case, we just couldn’t find the time to write our reviews the way we wanted them to read. (This shouldn’t surprise you anymore; at this point, in month 5 of our blog, you should know that like a lot of literary-types, we are not prompt people). So yet again, we are late. Late, late, late, for a not-so-important date.

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Instead of posting on December 1st, we’ve finally gotten around to it on December 14th.  It doesn’t seem possible that the weeks could have flown by so quickly, but fly they did. Time is a funny thing. And no one knows that better than Julia Beckett.

Julia is the protagonist of Mariana, our reading selection for this month. At various times in her life, Julia has found herself driving past a beautiful old home in the English countryside, without rhyme or reason for being in the area. She’s inexplicably drawn to the structure, and when she comes into some money in her early 30s by way of an unexpected inheritance (more than two decades after seeing the house for the first time), she learns that it’s on the market and buys it without a second thought. She moves into town and that’s when things start to go a little strange. Julia starts to see things. Things from centuries past. Things that seem to coincide exactly with the town’s factual history. She finds herself living two lives: one in the seventeenth century, and one in the present-day. She also finds herself embroiled in two romances, one in each era. She has two identities with two distinct names, and each lifetime comes with its particular set of allegiances and mysteries. One life is distinctly more alluring, but also distinctly more dangerous. Will Julia get trapped in the past? If she stays in the present, how will she let go of everything she’s become so attached to? The only constant is hot, hot romance – and the type of writing that you expect to go with it.

Tempted? Want to know more?
If you crave more knowledge, follow Victoria’s seductive eyes, green like the leaves of Eve’s apple, to page 2 for her review.

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