HAUNTING ME by Paula Allardyce


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The gimmick here is mutual haunting across the centuries--as young Harriet, living in an English village in 1776, and hip American Nancy, who is visiting that same village in 1976, talk to each other across the time barrier. Both gals have man trouble. Nancy has walked out on hers because he dallied with another; and Harriet is shunning her fianc‚ Johnny, who has just returned from the trouble in the American colonies--where he was rescued from a Hessian beating by a kind woman and fathered her still-born child (the woman also died). Nancy (who says ""sweetie"" a lot) fills Harriet in on the future of the ""colonies,"" and, while the 200-year intercom clicks on and off, the focus is mostly on the dark doings in Harriet's town: a foul clergyman and other puritanical vigilantes are rallying the people against various harmless townspeople, including Harriet herself (who has refused the cleric's offer of marriage). But eventually the cleric is felled, and the two women can cut the chatter and go back to their respective centuries. Even with time-travel and vigilantism--two tried-and-true plot grabbers--this is damp but un-haunting stuff, a far cry from the genial breeziness of Allardyce's Miss Philadelphia Smith (1977).

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1979
Publisher: St. Martin's