Small-town social studies teacher Madeline Fontaine is looking to move out of the family home and change her life. Maddy is involved in a mild, nowhere relationship with a moderately successful young lawyer, but after she meets Patrick Donovan, things become seriously complicated. When she finds herself suddenly transported from 2005 to 1905, her life takes an inexplicable twist.
Maddy is a capable character, strongly grounded within her family and extended-family relationships and secure in her faith. Her main conflicts involve the people newest in her life: her father’s wife, Kathleen; Claude Duval, her outgoing boyfriend; and Patrick. It is in her new relationships that she must learn to grow.
Patrick is fiercely loyal to his own family and defensive about its dark secret: the disappearance of his sister, Fiona. Maddy’s brief journey into the past provides her with the first clue to Fiona’s whereabouts, but her determination to solve the mystery puts her newest relationship in jeopardy.
Finding Fiona is, for the most part, an enjoyable, entertaining novel. Never dull, it shines best around its most compelling character, Tante Margaret, a mystic and seer. In all, though, I found the novel slightly disappointing, probably because it tries to be many things at once. The religious overtones dilute the romance and the mysticism; the historical aspect may be key but is minimal. Tante Margaret, on the other hand, could be the basis for a sequel!