Saturday, May 9, 2015

Back to the Future: "The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster" by Scott Wilbanks

Sometimes a book comes along that is so appealing it entices you from the first line and sweeps you along to the end while making you believe totally in its reality along the way . The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, by Scott Wilbanks, is such a book. It is completely charming, filled with endearing characters and even dastardly villains. It has time travel, not old hat time travel, but something new. A red door that is purchased on a whim.
The day after its installation in Annie Aster's Purple Victorian she opens it to go out to her back garden and finds... not her usual plants and whatnot... but a wheat field. And across the wheat field sits a cabin. And in a brass mailbox attached to her garden gate Annie finds a letter. From the occupant of the cabin. For this occupant, an irascible, widowed, retired schoolmarm, had noticed that there was a strange house sitting in her back 40. And she is not happy about it, she lets Annie know. The letter is dated 1895.
Annabelle Aster is a modern young woman living in 1995 San Francisco. She leans toward a vintage Victorian style of dress, and being very beautiful, pulls this look off quite naturally. She is an orphan, having been raised by two university professors and a marvelous Godmother. She has, since their passing, been living alone in the house she inherited. Her one great friend is a handsome young man named Christian who is a kindred spirit with a pronounced stutter.
It is with Christian she shares her discovery. And the fact that she has replied to the letter. This correspondence across place and time is the key to what will follow and what will be discovered, uncovered and... well, there are other surprises in store. We will also meet some other beguiling personages from the present and from the past, including Cap'n. A street urchin that would make even the Artful Dodger and Fagin proud.
This book is such a complete delight you'll find yourself wanting to go back in time, too... or, at least, back to the beginning of this story to relive the mystery, fun and romance all over again! Very highly recommended!
And, OK, this title is not coming out until August but I just had to help get the word out! Thank you to NetGalley for making this wonderful book available for reviewing!


  1. Your review is fun and enticing! Alas, so many great books to read and so little time. The illustration is lovely! Diane

    1. Thanks so much, Diane! This is a good one! I can't wait to read yours when it's finished!