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Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite
For years Ben and Hannah have summered in their mom's cabin in St. Mary's Port. They grew up there and formed great friendships with Josh and Emily from the nearby reservation. Hannah hasn't been back in four years, but after her first year of teaching she needs the summer break. What she finds is not what she expected. Josh, her brother Ben's best friend, has grown up and, even though he is younger than her, he seems so much older and so good looking. She is not sure what to think or what to do and he seems just as confused. After being stranded and having to wait for the guys to pick her up, Hannah is threatened by three drunks, which starts a series of weird and scary dreams. As she tries to understand them, she only gets more confused until finally Josh is forced to break down and explain himself to her. Shadow of Time is a wonderful mix of romance, history, legend and modern novel. Jen Minkman does a superb job of mixing so many concepts into one book without it seeming overwhelming.
Shadow in Time is set near an Indian reservation, so we learn some true Indian history and some Indian legends in this story, but never once is any of that boring or stuffy! It is told in dreams, remembrances and scenes that make perfect sense so that it fits perfectly into the story. Not only that, but there is romance, past lives, curses and coming of age all wrapped into this tale. Three people - Ben, Hannah, and Josh -are at the center of this story, but you don't realize it until closer to the end. It can almost be said this book is a walking advertisement for the idea that people come into your life for a reason because in this story, there are reasons that each person is where they are. Even the grad student, Nick, who seems out of place has a purpose; he gets them all talking about the history of the Navajo and is able to put some perspective on certain things that Hannah and Josh are too close to see at first. That message in the book is classic. This is a great book for young adults and teens, but I can easily say that adults will be able to find the beauty in the story just as well.