Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Black Magic-Brenda Jernigan

Black Magic

Brenda Jernigan

Dellarte, Aug 3 2011, $37.95

ISBN: 9781450100199

In 1980 in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dr. Alexandria Dumont performs rehabilitation medicine at Regional Hospital. Alex and her friend Carol go to a flea market. There Alex buys an oil painting from Hattie the elderly Cajun who tells her she will be contented tomorrow. Alex takes the painting of a pre Civil War plantation with a young woman in a peach gown near a lake. The reflection from the lake is what stuns Alex as it is not the woman but a burned out house. Falling from the back support is a child’s dairy from 1835 that Mex begins to read before falling asleep.

When Alex awakes she finds herself in a strange bedroom with Hattie sitting nearby. She learns Hattie is a free black working as housekeeper at River Bends in New Orleans. Confused that she and her medical bag went back in time, Alex believes she knows why when she meets twelve years old cripple Missy Wentworth. Alex knows she can help Missy walk, but the child’s older brother and guardian Brad rejects her assertion as he thinks doctors are quacks, but on Hattie’s word hires her anyway to care for his sibling. As he fails to seduce the doctor and is about to announce his engagement, Brad wants Alex.

This is a terrific time travel romance starring a wonderful heroine and a protective big brother. The support cast is solid especially the child, the mysterious Hattie and the nasty almost fiancĂ©e. With a few spins, readers will enjoy Alex’s sojourn into the past to help a child walk and to meet the love of her life.

Harriet Klausner

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