Time and Again


190 pages
ISBN 1-894549-39-2
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by Darleen R. Golke

Darleen R. Golke is a high-school teacher-librarian in Abbotsford, B.C.


The Owen family’s preoccupation with “baseball hero and pitching
superstar” Kyle leaves 15-year-old Kate resentful and determined to
spend the summer with her grandparents at Shady Oaks farm in the Ottawa
Valley to avoid another summer baseball camp in Colorado. Kate candidly
admits “it wasn’t really Kyle that bugged me; it was her [Mom] and
her attitude toward everything I did these days.” Reluctantly, her
parents agree and she leaves with plans to “wander and daydream and
birdwatch.” However, reality destroys her imagined idyllic farm
retreat when Kate sees the for sale sign and learns that Gramps’s
health problems have precipitated enormous changes. Kate resolves to
“find a way to fix things.”

Kate’s first restless night brings nightmares of ghostly figures with
an overwhelming sense of sadness and urgency. The following day while
rummaging around in the attic, Kate discovers the family Bible, and in
it is a letter in the hand-writing of her namesake, Great-Aunt
Katherine. The letter speaks of betrayal, hidden treasure, and “time
running out.” This hint of a mystery in her family’s history
captures Kate’s imagination and she experiences several unsettling
episodes in which she senses otherworldly presences. Doggedly, Kate
follows the letter clues to search for the treasure and enlists help
from Ethan, one of two farmhands Gram has hired to keep the farm
operational for the summer. Kate alternately suspects Mark and Ethan
until, in a satisfying climax, she discovers the villain and not only
stymies his schemes, but finds solutions to the farm crisis and her own
personal issues.

Loughead’s second young-adult novel combines the supernatural with
the realistic in a well-developed and charming story. Kate is a fully
realized character with typical teen angst and self-absorption, yet
awkwardly anxious to help others and be more understanding. Recommended.


Loughead, Deb., “Time and Again,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 18, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/22616.