I’ve been reading through Barbara Michaels’ books, but not in any order. I did try to read the books that have been identified as the “Georgetown series” together. Those books span over 20 years, and include Ammie Come Home(1968), Shattered Silk (1986), and Stitches in Time (1995). I was thinking that I liked the earlier books, but after reading Patriot’s Dream, published in 1976, I think that I’ve changed my mind. I had a lot of difficulty in getting intoPatriot’s Dream. The book goes back and forth between present day Williamsburg (1976) and Williamsburg in the 1770/1780 time period. Chapters altered between one reality and the next. Yes, Michaels has had visitors from the past appear in the story, but it was a ghostly appearance in the modern world. This back and forth transition was very disconcerting to me and made it more difficult for me to follow the story.
Jan Wilde is the heroine in the modern world of 1976. She goes to Williamsburg to spend her summer vacation with her elderly aunt and uncle, to help them out with daily living. Of course, all the men are after Jan. Aunt Camilla likes Richard, who works in a Williamsburg violin shop, and comes across as a namby-pamby to me. The uncle likes the more manly, arrogant, Alan, the family lawyer. Charles Wilde, his family, their slaves, and Charles’ cousin, Jonathan are the characters in revolutionary Williamsburg. Jan views incidents in the life of Charles and Jonathan as she dreams. The pair have roles in the revolution. Charles is on the side of the revolution, and Jonathan, a Mennonite, is on the side of peace and on freedom for slavery. Jonathan seems to play both sides of the game, and he’s the one that Jan falls in love with. As Jan tries to find a way to communicate with Jonathan to warn him of the future, the experience drains her. Others are starting to notice that something is wrong, and of course, Jan has to decide which guy is the right one for her.
I hesitate to say anything bad about any Barbara Michaels book, but I have to admit that this one is at the bottom of the list for me. I found myself skimming over the revolutionary times pages, just to get the gist. I wasn’t pleased or displeased with the ending; I was just glad that the book was in the finished pile. I have a vague memory of reading this book when I was a teen and liking it. I can’t imagine why that was the case.