The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser. This novel features one of the most unique storylines I have encountered in a long time.
meet Shay, a 20-year-old blonde living in Boulder, Col., on the eve of
her wedding in 1978. Her parents would like to dissuade her from this
decision, but she won't budge. As her grandmother enters her bedroom,
she sees the young girl trying on her bridal veil and modeling it in
front of an antique mirror. The family is shocked when Grandma Bran,
mute for decades due to a stroke, cries out, "Corbin!" a and drops to
Shay doesn't have time to wonder: she
herself also falls to the floor — only to awaken in what looks like the
same room, but can't possibly be. The people are different, the
furniture is different, she is different. The veil, however, is the same, and so is the mirror.
Shay has not just traveled in time, but wound up in the body of Grandma Bran on the eve of her
wedding to Corbin Strock in 1900. She knows it's the mirror that caused
this (and the evidence is fascinating and irrefutable), and she focuses
on how to get back to her own time and body before her 20-year-old
grandmother, Brandy, weds a man her family has never heard mentioned.
first, I was impatient. The story seemed to remain too long with Shay
as Brandy, and I wondered how the other time-traveler was doing at the
same time. However, I decided to trust Millhiser, and I am glad I did.
It was an amazing story, a time travel tale different than any other I
had yet to read.
Imagine living in someone else's body,
knowing what was going to happen — kind of. There is enough mystery in
any life, no matter how well you think you know someone (especially your
parents or grandparents). You might wish you had paid closer attention
to family lore. You might wish these family members had revealed their
secrets so you'd understand better the life you found yourself living.
is danger and folly in knowing the future. Are you causing your family
to live the life they were intended to live, or one you have created
because it already happened? Worse, what if they don't listen? Even
worse than that, what if they do listen and think you insane?
person from the future living in the past may be confused, but at least
she has an inkling as to what will happen next. How about the woman of
1900 suddenly thrust into the world of 1978, with disco, sexual
revolution, sports cars, processed food and science? Add the fact that
you're surrounded by "family" totally unknown to you who think you're
mentally unstable, and you'll have Brandy's life in the body of her
granddaughter (that harbors a surprise of its own).
storyline was intriguing, unpredictable, entertaining, compelling and
educational. Shay was confident that she knew what was on the horizon,
but it's amazing how many times she was surprised by what happened in
The characters were delightful. I worried
about both Shay and Brandy, both out of their elements and in danger of
being "helped" by those who loved them the most. Boulder was as much a
character as Shay and Brandy — as was the insidious, manipulative
In the end, Millhiser's novel was brilliant,
innovative and thought-provoking. (It also made me want to return to
Colorado.) I am glad I trusted this author, and I strongly suggest
readers give this book a chance. You'll be glad you did.