Now and Then

( 33 )

Overview

Living a dog's life...now and then

Anna O'Shea has failed at marriage, shed her job at a law firm, and she's trying to re-create herself when she and her recalcitrant nephew are summoned to the past in a manner that nearly destroys them. Her twenty-first-century skills pale as she struggles to find her nephew in nineteenth-century Ireland. For one of them, the past is brutally difficult, filled with hunger and struggle. For the other, the past is filled with privilege, status,...

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Now and Then

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Overview

Living a dog's life...now and then

Anna O'Shea has failed at marriage, shed her job at a law firm, and she's trying to re-create herself when she and her recalcitrant nephew are summoned to the past in a manner that nearly destroys them. Her twenty-first-century skills pale as she struggles to find her nephew in nineteenth-century Ireland. For one of them, the past is brutally difficult, filled with hunger and struggle. For the other, the past is filled with privilege, status, and a reprieve from the crushing pain of present-day life. For both Anna and her nephew, the past offers them a chance at love.

Will every choice they make reverberate down through time? And do Irish Wolfhounds carry the soul of the ancient celts?

The past and present wrap around finely wrought characters who reveal the road home. Mystical, charming, and fantastic, New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Sheehan's Now & Then is a poignant and beautiful tale of a remarkable journey. It is a miraculous evocation of a breathtaking place in a volatile age filled with rich, unforgettable, deeply human characters and one unforgettable dog named Madigan.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Sheehan's spellbinding latest (after Lost & Found), former lawyer Anna O'Shea becomes a time-traveling ex-wife when she returns from a vacation in Ireland and is enlisted to pick up her brother Patrick's son from jail in Newark after Patrick is severely injured in a car accident. Anna retrieves troublesome 16-year-old Joe and sets him up at her home, then wakes in the middle of the night to find him rummaging through her luggage. Joe's intrigued by a mysterious swath of cloth Anna picked up at a tourist trap, and when she tries to take it from him, the two are zapped back 164 years to pre-potato famine Ireland. Sheehan vividly depicts Irish-British conflicts as Anna becomes involved with an Irish smuggler's group and falls for a rebel cartographer. Equally compelling is Joe's experience as a wrestling champ and his romance with sparky lass Taleen. Throw in loyal Irish wolfhound Madigan, and you've got an altogether enjoyable romantic adventure yarn with a heavy helping of magic. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal

Just home from a trip, Massachusetts-based Anna must pick up her 16-year-old nephew, Joseph, from a New Jersey jail. As Anna tussles with Joseph over a package in her luggage, the two are hurled back to 1844 Ireland. Anna falls in with Glenis and her blacksmith husband, Tom, and Joseph becomes a prodigy fawned on by the area's wealthy British landowner. Here in the land of their ancestors, Joseph, always at odds with his widower father, and recently divorced Anna manage to find the love and respect missing from their 21st-century lives. Will they ever get back home? Do they truly want to? VERDICT Sheehan (Lost & Found) basically transforms a contemporary novel into a historical one, with all the period detail and sense of place for which such works are judged and appreciated. She reminds us that those who came before were no less savvy in their time than we like to think of ourselves today and that by accepting the past, we might just change the future. For readers looking for a well-written story with just a touch of blarney.—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal


—Bette-Lee Fox
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061547782
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/23/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 587,336
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a fiction writer and essayist, the bestselling author of the novels Lost & Found and Now & Then. Currently on the faculty of Writers in Progress and Grub Street in Massachusetts, she also offers international workshops on the combination of yoga and writing. She writes travel articles about lesser-known destinations and lives in Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    In some ways Madigan the Irish wolfhound steals the show in this enjoyable time travel romance

    Former lawyer Anna O'Shea returns from a vacation in Ireland when her brother Patrick asks her for a favor that he cannot do as he is injured from a car accident. He wants her to pick up his sixteen years old son Joe from a Newark jail. She goes from the airport to the jail and takes Joe to her home after getting his release.

    In the middle of the night, Anna finds Joe searching her still unpacked luggage. He is especially enthralled by some cloth Anna bought overseas. When she angrily grabs at the cloth, aunt and nephew are transported to Ireland prior to the infamous Great Potato Famine. As they acclimate poorly to being over a century and a half from their time, Anna joins an Irish smuggling cartel begins to fall in love with a rebel cartographer while Joe is attracted to a beautiful teen.

    In some ways Madigan the Irish wolfhound steals the show in this enjoyable time travel romance in which the twenty-first century aunt and nephew struggle with life in nineteenth century Ireland in which plugged in means nothing. The story line is fast-paced as romance and magic help Anna and Joe overcome the lack of a Starbucks or electronic gizmos. However, even with love everywhere, the anchor to this fine tale is the deep look at Irish-British strife that forces the newcomers to take sides.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    A disapointment

    Being an avid dog-lover, when the cover of a book has a dog picture and the jacket speaks of the importance of a dog to the story, I found it a disapointment the dog wasn't introduced until well into the book. In fact, writing about the dog was almost an after-thought, maybe a marketing ploy for readers like me. The book itself is unmemorable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Be transported to the Ireland of yesteryear

    Anna O'Shea is a woman whose life is falling apart. After three miscarriages, her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Desparately wanting to get her life back together, Anna is thrown another curve when she gets a phone call telling her that her brother, Patrick, has been in a serious car accident. Rushing to the hospital, she learns that Patrick had been on his way to pick up his delinquent son from jail. Anna is now given that task and must pick up 16-year-old Joseph. Deciding it's too late to go to the hospital once she's picked up the young man, she takes Joseph to her house for the night. After settling in to a restless sleep, Anna is awakened late at night by Joseph rummaging through her possessions. Anna is startled to see Joseph holding a small piece of fabric that had come from her suitcase. Annoyed that he would go through her things, Anna grabs for the cloth. However, as soon as she touches it, Anna and Joseph are transported back in time to Ireland in 1844. Unfortunately for the pair, they do not arrive together, nor do they arrive in tip-top shape. Dazed and confused, Anna is rescued by a kindly Irish couple, while Joseph finds himself with the caretakers of a stately mansion. The clever teen soon learns that the landowner is a British citizen who has a distaste for anything Irish. Wanting to endear himself to the wealthy landowner, Joseph lies and claims he is a Canadian citizen. Meanwhile, Anna tries her best to settle in to her new life of poverty while also searching for her nephrew. Once Anna and Joseph arrive in Ireland, the author switches between telling Anna's tale and Joseph's. It works quite well as we see the stark differences between what the average Irish citizen, right before the Irish Potato Famine of 1845 had, versus that of the British overseers. I was fascinated and angered at the same time as I read how those of British descent enjoyed great privalege while the Irish couldn't even own a horse of value. If said horse was perceived as being worth more than five pounds, it could be taken away. This is just one example of many in the book. Fortunately, the author doesn't get preachy with these lessons of disparity but rather carefully weaves them into the story so they fit the ebb and flow of the tale quite well. There's also a man who comes into Anna's life, one who at first can't stand the strange woman with the strange accent (Anna has a similiar reaction to him), but can romance be far away? The cover photo of an Irish Wolfhound may seem a bit misleading to some. While these gentle Irish dogs do play a part in the book, it isn't a major role. If you're expecting a book about Wolfhounds, or dogs in general, this is not that tale. But if you're willing to suspend disbelief for a bit and be transported to the Ireland of yesteryear, I'd suggest picking up a copy of Now and Then and getting lost in the book. Quill says: A story that talks of love, lost chances, and second chances, all while in the depths of a land and lifestyle long forgotten.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Time travel in 19th century Ireland

    Anna O'Shea's life is falling apart. Her husband has just left her most likely due to her multiple miscarriages. Her job as a lawyer is taxing and unsatisfying. And after a trip to Ireland she finds out that her brother Patrick was in a horrible car accident and might not live. To top it all off, her nephew is in jail and it's up to her to go get him out. This is the beginning of Jacqueline Sheehan's Now and Then. After Anna rescues her nephew, Joseph, from jail they both go to her house and fall asleep. Since they are each thinking about going to the hospital to visit Patrick the next day their sleep is a little messed up, and Anna finds Joseph searching through her suitcase.

    In a magical moment Joseph and Anna pass through the ocean and in to another world: 1844 Ireland. Unfortunately they are separated, or not so unfortunately for Joseph. Joseph quickly falls in love and becomes a famous wrestler, while Anna can barely walk and is desperate to find her nephew. In the end they are both torn between their desire to stay in the past and return to the present.

    This book started out a little slow for me, but once Joseph's story turned into a love story it picked up a little more. The first half of the book was a lot of description about how weird it felt to be in another time period. I felt like this could have been cut down a little as some things were repeated frequently, sometimes within a couple pages of each other. This made me feel like Sheehan didn't trust her reader, which in turn made me less apt to trust her. On the other end of the spectrum, by the end of the book I felt like Sheehan had woven a wonderful puzzle and all the ends were tied together which was really important for this book. It was obvious Sheehan had done some research on 19th century Ireland, I just wish it would have been more apparent at the beginning of the novel.

    I also felt like this book was struggling over what kind of book it wanted to be. Joseph is a sixteen-year-old American teenager, so obviously he cusses, but I felt like the somewhat frequent pottymouthing and slang was too stark against Sheehan's mystical voice. I don't have a problem with language, it just felt out of place. At the same time, Joseph's character made the book for me. He was a total outcast and really messed up in modern America, but he finds that in Ireland he is actually cool and really talented. I could related to Joseph because of this and I would always get excited when the chapters about him came up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable tale with history, romance and a little magic

    Time travel, magic, romance, adventure and an Irish Wolfhound all play a part in the novel Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan. She has woven together several stories to produce a delightful tale that kept me intrigued from cover to cover.

    Don't let the time travel make you think this is science fiction; it's not. It's more of an historical period novel with a dash of magic and a connection with the present. While there is a dog on the cover of the book, it is not a "dog story". The Wolfhound only plays a supporting role.

    As the story opens Anna O'Shea is having a bad day. Recently divorced, she returns from a much needed vacation to discover that her brother has been seriously injured in a car accident while on his way to pick up her nephew, Joe, from jail. The task now falls to Anna to retrieve the teenager and bring him home. Later that evening they get into an argument when Joe rummages through her suitcase. She grabs a piece of cloth he was holding and when they touch it sends them into the past. They each find themselves in 1840's Ireland, but not together. Each has landed in a different place and is rescued by different people. One wants to go back home, the other wants to stay in the past.

    The characters are well developed and likable with what seems like separate but in the end are interconnecting tales. The story is fast-paced and has enough twists and turns to make it interesting and not predictable. I enjoyed the setting in Ireland and even learned a bit about the people and customs of the mid 1800's.

    I read this in only a few days because I didn't want to put it down. I am looking forward to future work from Ms. Sheehan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Magical Tale

    When I ordered this book, I thought it would be about the dog, but it wasn't at all. I was not sure I would like the improbability of the tale, but found it fascinating the way the author worked in the historical facts of 19th century Ireland and the excitement she generated in her story. I read and liked Lost and Found, but liked this book of hers much more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great!!!

    This is my second favorite books of all times!! It's very creative and I love the way the author writes. it has a couple of sexual scenes which i didn't like but the plot of the book I enjoyed alot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Outstanding read

    I highly recommend this engaging and imaginative novel

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    I was unsure

    of how I would feel about this book... but it transitions so easily from one time to the other!! Easy to follow, a good read.

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    another great story

    I've enjoyed others by this same author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Shea russel

    Shea russel

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Based on nook sample

    Jac2848 - did not like nook sample

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Wonderful story

    At first i was thrown off a little by the whole time travel thing, but the story evolves quickly and wonderfully. I fell in love with the charactors, hating to see Anna and Donlan part! Maybe a sequel would be for him to travel to Anna ,s time for the arrival of their baby

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    You lucky dog

    Go dog

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2011

    Great potential, but a disappointing delivery

    I was very excited to read this book. The premise was interesting, but the story itself fell a bit flat. The story starts off with recently divorced Anna O'Shea visiting Ireland with a friend. While there she is given a package from a mysterious woman who is waiting for her. When she returns home she learns that her brother was in a serious car accident, and she is tasked with picking her brother's delinquent son up from juvenile detention.
    After they return home she catches her nephew, Joseph, rifling through her luggage. He is trying to open the package from the stranger. When she tries to take the package back from him they are thrown back nearly 200 years to Ireland, where they meet with different fates. Joseph is taken in by a wealthy English landowner who takes advantage of his abilities for his own personal gain. Anna is taken in by a poor farming family. They both meet and fall in love, but Anna's love story seems unlikely because of the lack of build up between the characters.
    There is also a curse issued and then negated by a blessing... except that it only is neutralized in part of the future.
    I feel that with a little more character and plot development this could have been a great story. The ending was too abrupt, we are left to wonder how the curse still existed in the past, and what happens to the lovers and their progeny.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    History, family and time travel

    This book intertwines family relationships, history and time travel in a very compelling and interesting way. Absolutely loved it. It really takes you on a journey through time and relationships.
    I read this author's previous book (Lost & Found) and immediately started this one. I will be watching for more from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    Jacqueline Sheehan does it again.

    After reading Jacqueline Sheehan's first book, Lost & Found, I couldn't wait for her second book to come out. I was excited when I finally saw it sitting on the shelf at Barnes & Noble. It did not disappoint me. The characters were able to draw me in and get me involved. I couldn't wait to read more and find out what was going to happen. It was an excellent read and now I can't wait for her third book to come out.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    charms and curses and cures

    Jaqueline Sheehan has written a lovely book about hope for the future, born in the past. If you enjoy Celtic heritage, inter-generational sparring and stories of history, both romantic and rudimentary, you will certainly enjoy this mystery as it flashes between 19th century Ireland and 21st century Massachusetts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2009

    A great read.

    This is a very exciting book. Sheehan puts her characters through the ringer. Every time I thought Anna was safe there was something even bigger she had to overcome. I read this book in two days. My husband read it in one. We loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2009

    A wonderful magical tale.

    A wonderful magical tale. I couldn't put down this book until I found out what happend to everyone in the story. I love historical fiction, but I didn't expect it when I purchase this book. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when the author intermixed history and modern day into the story. The author did her homework on 19th century Ireland. There are so many dimensions to this story line, which is one of the reasons it keeps your interest throughout the story. A great read!

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