Publisher and Publication Date: Clink Street Publishing. June 5, 2018.
Genre: Fiction. Mystery.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Audience: Readers of family fiction.
Author page: Kathleen Lawless.
After the untimely death of her mother and father, twenty-four year old Catherine Morgan leaves the Cambridge home where she has spent the better part of her life, to move to Cornwall. She takes a job as a teacher, working in an old rambling school which has been converted from a domestic home, perched high up on a hilltop, overlooking the beautiful Cornish coastline.
Out of the blue a letter arrives from a bank in Switzerland, advising Catherine that she is the sole heir to a fortune of over thirty million dollars. With no living relatives, save for a great aunt in the USA, Catherine sets out to uncover the source of this staggering inheritance, and to unravel the mystery that lies behind it.
With the help of her great aunt, Catherine begins to dig deep into long forgotten family secrets. Strange dreams begin to plague her. She is haunted by the eerie feeling that someone from her family’s past is trying to help her. Catherine must work to make sense of the past while defending herself, and her fortune, from someone in the present who will stop at nothing to secure the money for themselves.
The Past is Present is the debut novel by Kathleen Webb.
The story and plot of The Past is Present is good and entertaining. It’s readable and engaging. There is an enticing mystery about the inheritance and family history.
What I did not like about The Past is Present is the believability of the characters, and some examples of this are explained. The main character of the story is Catherine. She is from England. She has an American aunt. In the first few chapters Catherine is introduced. Catherine’s time period is the present. Chapter four is about two American girls named Rachael and Susie. I wondered, “who are these girls?” I continued to read hoping the story eventually will reveal their presence. The time period for these new characters is mid 1985. They live on the east coast of America in New Haven. On page 21, several words are used that I don’t remember being used or known of in the 80’s. These words are “boutiques, bistros and individual shops.” I was a teenager and in my twenties during the 80’s. The words “boutiques and bistros” were not used and people wouldn’t have known those words. The word store is used in America. It doesn’t matter what part of America a person lives in, the word store is used and it is rare to hear the word shop. One of the girls buys a pink chiffon dress. The prom dresses from 1982 were spaghetti strap and knit. A slit up one side of the dress was common. The long dresses were straight lines. At my prom, I did not see dresses that were fluffy, lacy, or sheer. We called the spring dance for seniors a prom. The word “ball” was in the Cinderella book. Later in the book a term is used “bringing up her wind.” This is not terminology that is used. Instead, the words fart or gas are used. And finally, in America we call our mother’s: mother, mom, momma, and mommy. We do not say “mum.” Small descriptions and word usage in a time period is important for believability.