When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth.
Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with a great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, Heather becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Brontë and is given refuge in the Brontë Parsonage.
Unaware of her host family’s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Brontë family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily’s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell.
Will Heather return to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will she choose love and remain in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?
Overall, I enjoyed this young adult romance that consisted of a variety of subgenres like time travel, fantasy, and historical fiction. I have always been fascinated by the Bronte family and loved the way that Ms. Orr depicted them in all their damaged glory. Time travel books are always something I look for since I love the drama associated with a character dealing with such a change in venue. And I thought Ms. Orr properly depicted Heather's travel and her feelings about it at the beginning.
But, I did have a few issues while reading the book. I never felt like I really understood who Heather was a character. She just seemed like she was a casual observer rather than someone who was directly involved in the storyline, at least until the end. I was interested to see how Heather was depicted dealing with her alopecia especially when she was transported to the mid-nineteenth century. But, I was disappointed in that the disease was rarely mentioned while she was with the Brontes. I appreciated how she was able to learn that she could be beautiful no matter what, but I found it to be a bit unrealistic how she came to that conclusion.
Heather's romance with Branwell was very much an example of insta-love which is not my personal preference. It just seemed like one minute they were meeting and the next they were making out. I was not a huge fan of how obsessed Heather became with Bran within a few days of meeting him and how that was all she thought about even when faced with the opportunity to return. I do know how quickly teenagers can fall in love, but I needed more development in order to truly believe their feelings.
And, finally, the plot seemed to be a little haphazard with the whole time travel element balanced with the Brontes issues and then the subplot of the wolf. I just felt like there was too much going on and the balance between the stories was never established. All that being said, I was impressed by Aviva Orr's writing style and look forward to seeing what she comes up with next. Also, does anybody know if she is planning a sequel to this? I could easily see it go both ways and was just wondering.