In Shadow of Time by Jen Minkman, we are introduced to Hannah whose simple summer vacation takes a turn towards the unusual. Hannah is taking a break from teaching high school students to spend the summer with her brother, Ben, at their mom’s cabin in Arizona near Naabi’aani (part of the Navajo Reservation). Hannah doesn’t expect things to turn out the way they do for her during the vacation. She starts having dreams of Josh, her brother’s Navajo friend, and they are more than a little confusing to her as they involve them being together as a couple, and experiencing the Navajo history first hand. At times, the dreams are unsettling and Hannah feels as if “shadows” are following her. Hannah, Ben, Josh, and their friends embark on an adventure involving skin-walkers (people able to shape shift into animals), a curse that has survived time, and discovery of unending love and reincarnation.
I was drawn to this story because of the Native American link to it. I enjoyed reading about the history of the Navajo Indians. I could tell that Minkman did her homework when it came to the Navajos and their customs. I feel she did them justice in this story.
Unfortunately I think she went into too much detail when it came to Hannah’s insecurities and her feelings for Josh. I had a hard time really believing that she was drawn to Josh and kept acting like a teenager rather than an adult. I also had a hard time believing that Hannah would fall in love so quickly with a seventeen year old (she’s twenty-three) and someone who was her younger brother’s friend. I tried to suspend my belief but their love story was hard to fathom. I also felt that Minkman had everyone getting along and falling in love so quickly that it made the story unbelievable and hardly realistic. Shadow of Time was at times slow and meandered around the same topics for too long. I felt no connection to Hannah and the other characters; I simply finished the story to see how it ended and to read more about the Navajo history.
I recommend this story for those who want to learn more about the Navajos and don’t mind the juvenile love story.
Amanda loves spending time at home with her husband and their dog, Oreo. She loves reading, playing puzzle games, beading and watching movies. When she’s not reading, she’s working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Jen Minkman. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.