Remembrance by Jude Deveraux

Hayden Lane is a romance writer living in New York City. While writing her next novel, she becomes enamored of the lead male character in the book, so much so that she literally cannot stop writing about him even though her manuscript is long overdue. Through time travel via hypnosis, Hayden finds herself trapped in the body of Lady de Grey, a haughty and promiscuous yet unhappy Edwardian era wife whose marriage is on the verge of collapse to the very hero of her book! Hayden goes even further into the past to solve the mystery of their doomed marriage, sure that it is connected to her twentieth century romantic troubles.

Remembrance is the book that my book club selected as a lighter read. I recommended this particular book after having enjoyed some of Deveraux’s books back in college. As it turns out, I had this confused with another of Deveraux’s books, A Knight in Shining Armor, and though I didn’t enjoy this one as much upon a second reading, it made for a great book club discussion.

Deveraux starts the novel off with a rant, via Hayden, on those who malign romance novels and their writers as a criminals worse than terrorists and goes on to discuss some of the attitudes facing romance writers, who only want to spread some joy.   Deveraux’s novel is  well written and easy to get into and I, as well as others in my book group,  was intrigued by the reincarnation aspect of the story.

I was engaged through the first level of the story and curious as to how Lady de Grey and Hayden’s paths connected.  It was when Deveraux went back to another incarnation that the story began to lose me.  The lives of Tally and Callie were my downfall. Deveraux starts to follow their story from infancy and I really didn’t enjoy the cloying way that Callie lived and breathed for Tally from the moment they were born.  It drove me crazy, but for others it was the best part of the story.  I loved Deveraux’s use of history in the novel and the scenes of the past were vivid and realistic, and the saving grace of the novel for me.  On the whole I like my romance mixed in with other stories and plots, but if you like it straight, then Deveraux is a fine place to start.

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