Monday 4 October 2010

Times Legacy by Barbara Erskine

Pages - 432

Published by Harper Collins in 2010

She focused on it for a moment and shook her head. Not a ghost. A residue. Someone had spent a lot of time here filling the room with unhappy thoughts. She could sense misery, loneliness and resignation and maybe, fear. She sent up a quick prayer of comfort for her predecessor, if it was indeed him, resolving to hold a healing ceremony that very evening to cleanse and bless the place, then over the coming weeks and months, to fill the flat with flowers and music and hopefully, laughter.

Abi Rutherford is training to be a priest, but walks out of her job after her boss becomes erratic and behaves rather badly towards her.  She is sent away by the bishop to consider her future and whilst staying in Cambridgeshire, she brings the past back to haunt her with the help of a sacred stone her mother left her.  Abi helps to unravel the past and hopefully change it to make a brighter future.

The past includes a stranger who travelled the land, bringing hope and healing to the sad and sick.  Unfortunately, his arrival, brings followers who are eager to see him killed. Can Abi help to change the past.

I spent my early twenties devoted to Barbara Erskine. At the time,they were the only paranormal books I could find and I have always loved nothing better than a ghost to scare me witless. Barbara Erskine has never let me down in the scary book department.

There is a passage from a hymn at the beginning of the book that I have sung during many a church service over the years, that finally means something to me after finishing the book. Let me quote it to you.

'And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

This is from the hymn Jerusalem by William Blake.

I have never claimed to have a religious bone in my body, so it should be no surprise that I didn't have a clue what these words referred to. However, I  did go to Sunday school and I did read the children's bible when I was a kid, but I really don't ever remember the story of Jesus visiting England, do you? Apparently he did! During the lost years, it appears he came over to England to study with the druids and Barbara Erskine's book brings this story back to life.  This was definitely the first time I had read about this.

Now I love Barbara Erskine, but this book left me a little with the Dan Brown syndrome - not knowing where the truth ends and the fiction begins, which is a frustrating feeling for me. I am now left in a pickle  as to whether I have time to research this more or not.  I have so many books demanding my attention, do I ignore them as I hurtle towards a destiny to discover the truth and then appear as knowledgeable as Stephen Fry to all my friends, or do I carry on plead ignorance and hope another good book eventually lands in my lap covering the same subject. Just for all my American and Canadian readers, Stephen Fry is the English fountain of all knowledge on the British TV screen.

This book was a brilliant read. I loved the story concept and imagined Dan Brown writing a book on the same subject. The ending had me on the edge of my seat and left me wanting more Erskine books.

However, there were a couple of things that niggled me. I wasn't very keen on the main character Abi. I felt that she kept putting herself in dangerous situations, out of sheer stupidity.  I suppose this may be a reflection of my own character, as I very careful of my safety at all times.  I am not the type to walk down dark allies on my own, just because I think it is one of my rights as a female to feel safe, I would rather drive the car.  So even though Abi might be a bit gungho for me, other people might not be so bothered by her attitude.

I also felt that the book could have been edited a little tighter, as certain parts of the story, seemed a little repetitive to me. This mainly occurred during the scenes where Kieran, her boss, seemed to be repeatedly following Abi with no advance to the story occurring.  I felt like I was having  continual deja vu moments.

Apart from those two niggles, I really did enjoy it and I can't wait to get back into Barbara Erskine's books as there are quite a few I seemed to have missed out on reading. Long may she reign as the Queen of Paranormal!


  1. Absolutely adore Barbara Erskine's novels, haven't read this one yet but I'm keen to. Glad you enjoyed it depsite the couple of niggles :)

  2. I love Barbara Erskine but have yet to read this one.

  3. Jesus in England, yeah I am not seeing that. That wouldn't have been to my liking either

  4. Well, I'm really curious to know if that's true as well.

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  6. Jesus in England? That's news to me even though I've read the Bible from cover to cover a few times. I have to look this up in the references, maybe it's the England in the ancient days. I don't know...

  7. I haven't read anything by Barbara Erskine. Based on your terrific review, I should look for Time's Legacy or perhaps a different book by this author.

  8. I've never read this author before, but after reading your review, I think I'll have to give it a try.

  9. i've never read any erskine novels but am interested! your recommendation and her long career as an author are two things that speak volumes to me. i enjoy a good scare and tis the season! not sure i'll start with this one, but i will look into the author and see watch catches my fancy.

  10. Teddyree - this one is a must for all Erskine fans.

    Petty Witter - I hope you get to read it.

    Blodeuedd - apparently it is true!

    Kathy - Intriguing, isn't it?

    Alice - it was supposed to be in ancient times, as he was supposed to have spend time with the druids. I have asked a few people who regularly read the Bible and they have never come across any mention of it before.

    Suko - my favourite Erskine novel has to be 'Midnight is a lonely place.' Definitely worth a read.

    Yvonne - I am pleased I have brought a new author to you.

    Nat - I would go with 'Midnight is a Lonely Place' to start with. It isn't such a big novel as Time's Legacy.

  11. I'm reading my first Erskine novel now and enjoying it.
    This one sounds good, even if there were a few minor glitches.
    Great review!

  12. Now why on Earth did I have it in my head that Barbara erskine was a chick lit author - I've never read any of her books mainly because of this misconception! Doh!

    This sounds right up my street - I must admit I AM one of those girls that used to walk up dark alleys, not because I thought it was my right but more - I know this sounds daft now and I've become a lot more careful since having kids - I used to be of the attitude, if someone was going to attack someone - it wouldn't be an overweight ugly person (I know. Stop shouting!) I used to be a real night owl because I worked nights so would sleep during the day and go walking for miles during the night on my nights off (in my single days, again, pre-kids) So that part of the book probably wouldn't bother me.

    Must search out some of her books.


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