The Best Gift
Signet, Nov 2009, $6.99
On Christmas morning 2009 in the San Francisco Bay area, Clara thinks her life is finally perfect after her disastrous time in 1941 when she learned she has breast cancer and fell in love knowing her GI Jed Landy was going to die at Normandy; he pledged to always find her no matter what (see If Only in My Dreams). Now in 2009 she loves her husband Drew and is seven weeks pregnant.
An earthquake hammers the Bay area. Clara keeps moving back and forth between 2009 and 2012. However what she observes in 2012 frightens her as she pregnant and alone except for boxes; Drew is nowhere and neither is the baby she was carrying in 2009. She begins flickering back and forth to Christmas 2012. She can't figure out what's going on with her future self. She's alone, hugely pregnant and the house is full of boxes. However, she keeps thinking back to 1941 and her eternal soul mate’s pledge.
This is a terrific thought provoking tale that deftly combines time travel and reincarnation with the underlying theme that true love is forever. The beleaguered Clara is confused as she struggles between 2012 and 2009 but finds solace with her thoughts of 1941. Complicated and nonlinear, Wendy Markham continues her strong saga of love for all time.