Sunday, March 10, 2013
A Harrigan Family Novel , #4
Contemporary Romance w/Magic
Present Day Crystal Falls, Oregon
The Harrigan family is an extremely close one. Frank Harrigan divided his huge ranch into six parts, giving a part to each of his children, Clint, Quincy, Parker, Zach, and Samantha, as they turned twenty-one, keeping the homeplace for himself and wife. Now the family is in crisis; Clint's beloved wife suffers with leukemia. All the Harrigans but Quincy, who is overseeing the family ranches, and Sam, who is caring for the children, are in Portland seeking treatment for Loni. Quincy gets a phone call from Clint who says nothing more can be done and he's bringing Loni home to die. Quincy's day gets worse when he finds an intruder in the supposedly secure horse arena and stables. He finds a tiny, oddly dressed woman snuggled down asleep in the stall of his favorite horse. Quincy can't figure out how she could have broken in without setting off the high-tech alarm. On top of that, when she wakens, she tells a mad story of coming from 500 years past to right an old wrong. Seems one of her relatives placed a curse on his family down to the very last generation. Quincy calls the police and they arrest the woman for breaking and entering.
Her name is Ceara O'Ceallaigh and she does, indeed, come from 1574 Ireland. Her clan is druid, as were the Harrigans, though their druid blood has since been diluted. A disappointment in Ceara's life left her with little to look forward to, so she decided to sacrifice her home and family to undo the curse. The only way to do so is to marry the only unmarried Harrigan male her mother could find using her crystal ball. It's a permanent move, because druids can move forward in time, but they cannot ever go back. If the curse is broken, Loni will live and be cured.
With PERFECT TIMING, Ms. Anderson moves further into the paranormal. She introduced a less drastic bit of magic with Loni, who is a clairvoyant, and that worked very well. Now she shows her talent by giving us a lovable heroine who must face not only all the scientific advancements made through the centuries, but also a huge culture shock. As a well brought up, modest maiden, Ceara (pronounced See-aira) receives shock after shock, all done with the author's affection as well as a keen sense of humor.
Once Quincy softens enough to bail Ceara out of jail, this world weary man of forty softens even more, and is willing to do anything if it will save his brother's wife's life.
Though a departure from Catherine Anderson's usual moving work, PERFECT TIMING will charm readers with its wit and originality. Ceara's introduction to modern life is humorous as well as moving. She quickly becomes drawn into the community of Harrigan women (the brothers' wives and Sam) and “the hens” provide many a laugh as they try to bring Ceara into the twenty-first century, though I can't imagine sharing some of the intimacies with anyone as they do.
Even leaving the supernatural aside, PERFECT TIMING presents a time of testing for love, passion, hope, and faith that will be hard to walk away from unaffected.
The Harrigan series is connected to the Coulter saga's contemporary novels. In fact, Sam is married to Tucker Coulter (SUN KISSED). Then came Clint and Loni in MORNING LIGHT; Parker and Rainie in STAR BRIGHT; then Zach and Mandy in HERE TO STAY. PERFECT TIMING delivers a masterful conclusion to a great series.