Author: Annie Rogers
The following review was contributed by: NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures. CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews
To read Norm's Interview With the Authors CLICK HERE
Annie Rogers' A Dream Across Time is a powerful and gripping novel that effectively depicts Caribbean reality, wherein folklore, superstition, heritage, culture, family traditions, secrets and magic are all interwoven with history.
Our narrative begins in 1789 at the time of the French Revolution when Anne-Cecile Diamant together with her twin sons, Louis and Philippe, flee France to escape the terrible fate that awaits many of the French aristocracy. Anne-Cecile’s husband, Jean-Clair, accompanies his family to a coach that will transfer them to a ship traveling to Sainte Lucie (St. Lucia). Jean-Clair promises his wife that he will shortly join them on board the ship, after he attends to his arranging of letters of credit. Before departing, Jean-Clair hands Anne-Cecile a small pouch containing their children’s christening gifts from the King and Queen of France. The gifts, as we shall eventually learn, will play a key role in this riveting novel.
Anne-Cecile and her twins reach Sainte Lucie without Jean-Clair; however, unfortunately the evil of the revolution has pursued them to the Caribbean. Furthermore, slaves armed by sympathizers of the revolution are rebelling and demanding their freedom
In Sainte Lucie, Anne-Cecile and her sons find themselves under the care of her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Charles and Yvette. However, once again they are required to run away-this time, to the neighboring island of Martinique. Charles directs his trusted servant and slave, Makus and his wife, B’til to help Anne-Cecile and her sons leave Sainte Lucie.
As our story unfolds, we discover that unfortunately, Charles and Yvette along with their family never made it to Martinique, as they were all murdered. The only one that does succeed in escaping is the eldest of Anne-Cecile’s twins, Philippe, while Anne-Cecile and Louis are obliged to stay behind in Sainte Lucie hidden in a cave for several years under the watchful eyes of Makus and B’Kil. As a result of saving their lives, Anne-Cecile promises Makus and B’Kil that their loyalty will not go unrewarded for all they have done for the Diamant family. This promise will likewise play a crucial role in the unfolding saga.
Fast forward to 1980 to St. Lucia, West Indies, an American couple, Jamie Elliott and her husband Paul, have just moved to the island to commence a new chapter in their lives.
Immediately upon arriving in St. Lucia, Jamie has this bizarre feeling that she had been here before but can’t quite put her finger as to why she has this “unsettling flash of recognition.” As the couple are being driven to their rented cottage, they witness an auto accident. Jamie jumps out of the car to help some of the injured and once again experiences a perplexing feeling as she meets a good-looking man, who we later find out is Andre from the old and respected Demontagne and Diamant families.
These unaccountable emotions are further enhanced when Jamie meets Marcus and Bertille Deroche, who work for the Demontagne family and whose ancestors saved Andre’s maternal ancestors, the Diamant family, from the guillotine in Soufriere. Apparently, they also helped one of his paternal ancestors hide a fortune in diamonds.
All of this eventually plays out with a series of twists and turns, as Marcus reminds Andre that their families are “entwined like a vine around a tree in the forest. They cannot part without the destruction of both.”
A Dream Across Time is a wonderful love story to meander through. The narrative has a sense of mysticism and intrigue to it permitting its characters to become quite memorable with all of their unique idiosyncrasies and emotions. In addition, several themes are touched upon such as heritage, loyalty, integrity, and parental secrecy, wherein the motives are for self-protection or a desire to shield love ones from their past.
The authors engaging writing style along with their solid research of St Lucia’s culture, history and geography skillfully captures the tones and pacing of life on this island. Moreover, the use of the element of foreshadowing that continually alludes to something that will occur later in the narrative is cleverly interwoven into the plot. There certainly is ample in here to ponder about and yes, there is a sequel, as we can’t wait to learn what happens to Andre, Jamie and all the rest of the characters?
To read an interview with the authors pertaining to St. Lucia, CLICK HERE and pertaining to Martinique, Click Here