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Publishers WeeklyBrooke's debut novel explores familiar themes of motherhood and sacrifice, with a bit of time travel thrown in for good measure. Recently married Holly and Tom have moved to an old cottage in the countryside. Tom is ready to have kids, but Holly remains unsure. Enter an ancient Aztec moondial. Hidden in the overgrown garden, the device allows Holly to see into the future on the night of a full moon. To her horror, she awakes in an alternate future reality where she has died giving birth to a baby daughter for whom she feels an instant, primal love. The rules of the dial are elucidated by a kindly village neighbor and Holly learns that in order to save her own life, she must sacrifice another, i.e., she must give up (not conceive) her daughter. This premise imparts a welcome urgency to the novel and the prose comes fluently to Brooke, who propels her reader urgently through the twisting plot, though the characters lack a certain psychological depth. The playful banter between Holly and Tom, in particular, rings false and the plot is somewhat predictable. Nevertheless, this is perfectly enjoyable and suspenseful light reading.
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