Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Author
The Time and Again Antique Shop series is a collection of four novellas that tell the continuing story of modern-day Lizzy Bennet, Will Darcy, Doris Long, and their adventures with Doris’s antique shop – Time and Again Antiques. Filled with magic, history, and romance Cat Gardiner once again unites her passions for Jane Austen’s most cherished couple and the inspiring and pivotal 1940’s time period. Each novella takes place around a holiday celebration – Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, Halloween, and New Years’ Eve – and depicts the developing relationships between our main characters.
In these novellas readers encounter: Lizzy Bennet, an instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studio who has experienced her share of unlucky and disappointing relationships; Will Darcy, an Army Ranger in between tours who has difficulties vocalizing his emotions; and Doris Long, the ninety-three-year-old owner of Time and Again Antiques, an antique shop in East Meryton that has been in her family since 1887.
Even though Lizzy isn’t very interested in antiques, she finds her way into Time and Again Antiques. By some magical properties of a time portal, Lizzy is transported to 1943, where she is in the body of another Lizzy Bennet…who is at a USO dance where she has just been insulted by GI Private Darcy…and sparks are flying!
*Sigh* I loved this reincarnation of Lizzy and Will together – their meeting in 1943 is everything you’d want it to be: playful, sweet, and – perhaps because of the time period – endearingly candid. I also enjoyed the similarities they shared with their modern-day counterparts, and how both had some insecurities and issues they were working through. It was lovely to see their relationship evolve in these brief snapshots as seasons passed. I always love the unique and enthralling ways Ms. Gardiner brings Darcy and Elizabeth together. And even though these two found their way to each other quickly, and were sometimes sharing the spotlight with battle descriptions and time travel adventures, I loved the moments we got to spend with this beloved couple.
Another aspect of this story I greatly enjoyed was our elderly shopkeeper, Doris Long. Seeing her relationship with Lizzy and Will was so heartwarming, and I loved learning more about her own life and some of her past experiences. She is wise, spirited, and has a big heart. I also greatly enjoyed all the descriptions of her antique shop; with such minute attention to detail it was easy to visualize the shop and its collection of treasures (and all the memories attached to them.)
As with any Cat Gardiner novel, the scene descriptions, vivid details, and aptly selected song choices help the reader feel completely immersed into the story’s setting and action. It wasn’t just Lizzy and Will that found themselves transported to the 1940s! From USO dances, to seeing Casablanca when it first came out, to surviving D-Day on Normandy Beach – Ms. Gardiner takes great pains to give authentic and accurate depictions of the events and experiences her characters lived through.
Seasons in Time is a revealing and romantic time travel adventure – a perfect choice for hopeless romantics, lovers of war-time romances, and readers who firmly believe that “Every man named Will Darcy must always be with his Lizzy Bennet.” I love that Cat Gardiner created another Austen-Inspired story that take place in the 1940s! Please continue to write some more, Ms. Gardiner!!
Note: Due to the occasional use of strong language, I’d recommend this story for readers over the age of 14.