Two Women, Eight Hundred Years, and the Destiny They Share
"Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth, and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men...The author's storytelling talent is undeniable."
-Times of London
With a story as mesmerizing as it is chilling, Lady of Hay explores how Jo, a journalist investigating hypnotic regression, plunges into the life of Matilda, Lady of Hay-who lived eight hundred years earlier. As she learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her troubled love for Richard de Clare, and the brutal treatment she received from King John, it seems that Jo's past and present are hopelessly entwined. Centuries later, a story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to begin again-and she has no choice but to brave both lives if she wants to shake the iron grip of history.
(Terra's Thoughts) This is a wonderful story but very heavy. The emotions of the characters reel you in as if you were a prize catch on the line but believe me when I say that there is no struggling to put this down. I found this real and engrossing as if you are watching a 3D movie in the best of theaters.
Our heroine Jo volunteers for an experiment on hypnotism. Right from the start our secondary characters are in awe and pretty much scared half out of their wits with the intensity of Jo's regression. The results bring forth many physical manifestations that could bring about a costly price to Jo herself so her memory is wiped clean for her own safety.
Upon seeking out a professional so that she can verify clinical results for an article she is working on, Jo gets caught up in the experiment these many years later. Can she help herself to deal with what is about to start happening to her? Will she be strong enough to change a past life for the good of a woman she never even heard of? Will Jo's physical manifestations catapult around her sucking in people she knows as well as strangers to the point that not only is the past coming to life but the present is changing also.
This story has a double intensity as far as I'm concerned for I do believe in past lives belonging to one person. One soul, multiple renditions of lives lived, loved and died only to become again. Those feelings of, "gee have I been here before because it sure feels like it", as well as others just might have some credence to them. Is there such a thing as luck or is it just our having learned from a mistake made in a previous life and making the right choice this time.
Paperback: 592 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 1, 2010)