Book Reviews: Shadows of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu
|4.7 stars, 3 reviews|
Carmen Stefanescuabout this book: A paranormal, light romance/light horror telling he story of two young women, Genevieve ans Anne.
Though I live in Romania, English being for me second language, I had this dream to become an author. I am a teacher of English and German in my country. And, above all I wanted to see my books published abroad. It seems the dream has come true.
I accidentally read a small article in a Romanian newspaper about a haunted mountain in England. The souls of two sinners, a nun and a priest who break their vows and elope, can't find their rest. The tourists visiting that area sometimes hear agonizing moans during the night. That was all. The moment I put down the newspaper I knew that I had to write about them. This is how The Ballad of the Priest and the Nun came to life, first. Later, I thought it was not enough. I felt Genevieve's story must be presented in detail. And thus I wrote this novel.
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You Won't Want to Put this Book DownShadows of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu brings together two very different lives of two women. Both are our heroines - one from the 15th Century and one from our modern day . Their lives are intermingled around tragedy, boundless love and the power of good magic.
The story tells the tale of a young nun's difficult life and the contentment she finds living under the protection of a convent. Genevieve decided to join the convent because there were so little choices for young women on their own. Her life there was blissful to begin with but things don't go well when the kind hearted Abbess who has sheltered and nurtured Genevieve is replaced by a wicked, soulless creature whose jealously and persecution of the young nun is relentless. Things are further antagonised when the beautiful Genevieve falls in love with a man who the evil Abbess has intentions of seducing herself. The man is himself a man of God and this adds to the drama of the tale.
Anne is our modern hero. She's a successful business woman who is trying to repair a damaged relationship. She heads her family's business and is intelligent and articulate. Although worlds apart, the lives of the two women are intrinsically woven together in this charming book.
Meanwhile, Anne is trying to reconnect with a past lover on a hiking holiday. Unbeknown to her she finds herself in the same mysterious forest that has haunted Genevieve. Ghosts and spirits haunt her sleep and visions worry her waking hours. They are her 'Shadows of the Past'.
Ms Stefanescu is able to bring her readers two different stories and lace them together to produce an intriguing and interesting tale. I was able to appreciate the both worlds represented here and I easy became entranced with the suspense and mystery evoked in this absorbing tale.
I am giving this five stars and I am looking forward to reading more from Carmen Stefanescu. [by Susan Day]
Eerie RomanceCarmen Stefanescu demonstrates an appreciation of language that weaves beautifully through the pages of Shadows of the Past. She pins together stories of two women, one from the late Middle Ages and the other a modern business woman, and she does this in a way that defies traditional character roles. Her smooth transitions between the time periods in which these women lived blend their passions and heartaches, as if only days separated them. Neither is able to rid herself of her past, Genevieve from the memory of her brutal father and then the equally harsh Abbess, and Anne from a lover's betrayal. And then there's that forest, with its haunting silence where even dried leaves crush quietly beneath their feet, and the hounds of Hell circle just out of sight. But, they can't resist the urge that draws them deeper and deeper into it, that dark place where nightmares live.
Stefanescu spices the plot with Old Bertha. Her potions and spells rival Shakepeare's witches; although, she never dances around the cauldron. But, dance or not, she seems to bring Genevieve equal measures of hope and despair. Perhaps the same is true for Anne with Neil. Therein lies the charm of this love story, nothing and no one is fully good or bad, not even the heroines. And, that makes them relatable to all of us. Well, maybe the Abbess was all bad.
In all this, a romance crosses the ages, crosses centuries, without fading or losing any of the fire that sparked it. For a tap on your heart and a tingle in your spine, right down to the last page, I invite you to join Genevieve and Anne in their joys and sorrows and, yes, their fears in this tightly-written story.
A Amazing Story! Full of Pure Heart and A Courage That it Pulls From the SoulThis book was amazing! I don't usually read books that aren't YA books anymore but occasionally I come across one that sparks my interest like this one did. The author Carmen Stefanescu did a amazing job on describing people and places and I felt like I was in the story from start to finish. I loved all the historical elements to the story and all the attention to detail that Carmen puts into the story especially when it came to the wiccan people and their practices. As a wiccan myself I really appreciated this aspect.I also loved the villain in the story I always say you can't have a good story without an good villain and wow I wanted to run...lol...The best part though was the tremendous love felt throughout the whole book! that through all the tragic loss and pain there was still love.
Anne and her husband Neil are trying to rekindle their romance with a week long vacation and some hiking when they get lost in the woods. The woods are spooky and Anne begins to have dreams and visions of a woman who looks very much like her and leads them deeper into the forest. They soon learn that this may be the tragic restless spirit of Genevieve a nun from the local Abby with a most tragic and lost past and who is still being chased by the one thing she feared most. Can they save her and themselves before it is to late?
The book goes back and forth from the past to the present which in some books I have found annoying but quite enjoyed in this book. I was a little confused for maybe the first two chapters but quickly learned what all the back and forth meant. Genevieve quickly became my favorite character and I was hooked on her heartbreaking story! I just couldn't put the book down! I highly recommend this book to one and all! ` [by Amanda]
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