I'm kind of mixed on this one. I've been a Jude Deveraux fan since I "discovered" her in 1978 with the Enchanted Land. Her books took me through many experiences, both good and bad. She's long been one of my favorites and continues to be a go to read. I'm not a fan of women's fiction -- they usually seem like depressing reads and there's enough sadness in "real life" to read about it in my "escape life".
This one started out fantastic. I grew up in the 1970's, went to my fair share of anti-war demonstrations and had a boyfriend become an Army Ranger during Viet Nam. I also remember it as being a simpler, most honest time and those feelings come through in the first part of the book that starts in 1972. I loved the characters, Adam, Kelly, Vira and Miguel. I loved how they found their ways to each other and not just them but their parents. I suspected what was going on with Paul and was glad he got his own happy ending so to speak. It seems very much like it's Vera's story but it is also Kelly's. I loved how she was with the different animals....I'd love to have her as our vet.
When the story moved to 1991 I was lost. I flipped back a few pages to see where all these new characters came from. It didn't make sense and there was no back story to how they got there. All of a sudden I was in the middle of another story. Until some of the characters from 1972 showed up I wondered if it were 3 different books in one volume. I kept reading and felt more and more Deveraux should have done it as a series or a trilogy. There was enough material, especially with the book ending in 2019. And SPOILER SPACE
WHAT was wrong with Vera. It was a sad ending to the book and I got teary, but WHAT happened? It was like Deveraux had a deadline and just moved to finish the book instead of giving the kind of endings I expect from her. Yes, it could have ended the way it did, but I needed more which is why I say it would have been great as a trilogy. There was plenty of material, the characters were interesting enough and there was enough going on around the world in those time periods the characters could have been drawn to.
Overall I liked the book....at 413 pages it was one I kept picking up rather than do other things that needed to get done including staying up till 3 in the morning to keep reading last night.