Amelia and Jacob have landed in a very familiar where. The when is a whole other matter.
Jacob’s first experience with time travel leaves him and Amelia stranded in 1861 Louisiana on the cusp of the Civil War. With no luggage and no invitation, they find themselves at the mercy of Charles and Brigitte Deschanel, who, for now, believe they are cousins visiting from abroad.
Secrets Among the Cypress, the eighth volume in the House of Crimson and Clover series follows the fortunes of Jacob and Amelia. As a result of horrifically tragic events and to escape more danger, Jacob transports himself and Amelia back in time, not certain where they will end up. Recovering from the disorientation they realise with incredulity they are at Ophélie, but a very different Ophélie than they know. Jacob and Amelia find themselves the uninvited guests of Charles and Brigitte Deschanel in pre Civil War Louisiana, the day of Ophélie Deschanel’s sixteenth birthday.
Both Jacob and Amelia are finding it difficult to deal with the aftermath of the recent trauma and, instead of it bringing them together in grief and support of one another, the opposite is happening, especially with Amelia. Making sense of why they landed where they did, and at that particular time, also poses a conundrum although Amelia believes they must be there for a reason. They have no alternative but to delve into the Deschanel family dynamics, despite being shocked and horrified at what they uncover, and discover the strange part Victor de Blanchefort plays in their lives. I’m looking forward to seeing where his character goes.
“Which could matter for us. I got the distinct sense Brigitte was sizing us up, preparing to place us in her crosshairs. I didn’t like how she talked to Ophélie, either.”
“You remember what your cousin Katja said. About how the Deschanels had inbred for years to avoid dilution of all your crazy abilities? And Brigitte being dead set on continuing this here in Louisiana.”
Amelia nodded. “She also believed Brigitte cursed the family for Ophélie’s death because it meant she failed. I don’t know if I believe that, but it only matters what Brigitte thinks. Our views drive us.”
Jacob has long been one of my favourite characters and I love the way he’s developed…Amelia too. And I was glad to see the inclusion of other favourites, if only for a short time. The time travel aspect was intriguing and a great way of getting the background and some history of the Deschanels in ‘real’ time, learning more about Jacob and Amelia’s place in the grand scheme as well as the origins of the curse. The research is obviously extensive and gives a clear picture of life in 19th century Louisiana.
This has to rate as one of the best books so far, I love time travel stories and I’ve been waiting and wanting to follow Amelia and Jacob’s story. The characters are as individual and well defined as always, some you love, some you can’t help but despise, and all give rise to emotional responses from pity, horror, incredulity to amusement at Jacob and Amelia’s attempts to fit into 19th century society. Excellent read with tantalising allusions to future storylines.
My review is based on an advanced digital copy of the book from the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or the review content.
About Sarah Cradit
Sarah is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Paranormal Southern Gothic series, The House of Crimson & Clover, born of her combined passion for New Orleans, family sagas, and the mysterious complexity of human nature. Her work has been described as rich, emotive, and highly dimensional.
An unabashed geek, Sarah enjoys studying subjects like the Plantagenet and Ptolemaic dynasties, and settling debates on provocative Tolkien topics such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf’s personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, Sarah has visited over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration (though New Orleans is where her heart rests). She’s a self-professed expert at crafting original songs to sing to her very patient pets, and a seasoned professional at finding ways to humiliate herself (bonus points if it happens in public). When at home in Oregon, her husband and best friend, James, is very kind about indulging her love of fast German cars and expensive lattes.