The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

The Little Shop of Found things by Paula Brackston is a time travel novel with a good dose of romance.

Xanthe and her mother, Flora move to the charming little town of Marlborough leaving behind them broken relationships and the lives they no longer want to live. In their future is an almost derelict antique shop that they have polled their life savings to bring back to life and pin their hopes and dreams on.

On a mission to find new stock for their grand opening Xanthe and Flora attend a local estate auction, there Xanthe is drawn to an antique silver chantelaine that she simply can’t resist.

Examining the chatelaine she is transported back to the seventeenth century.  Just as suddenly she is back home and bewildered where she is confronted by a ghost and forced to put a centuries-old injustice to rights, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s life.

While Xanthe fights searches for a way to save a doomed girl in  1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby, an unexpected connection that makes her question ever returning to the 21st century.

Excerpt from The Little Shop of Found Things

It is a commonly held belief that the most likely place to find a ghost is beneath a shadowy moon, among the ruins of a castle, or perhaps in an abandoned house where the living have fled leaving only spirits to drift from room to room.

To believe so is to acknowledge but half a truth, for there is a connection with those passed over to be found much nearer home. Every soul that once trod this brutal earth leaves their imprint upon the things that mattered to them. The things that they held, the things that once echoed to the beat of their hearts. That heartbeat may yet be felt, faint but clear, transmitted through the fabric of those belongings, linking us to the dear one long gone through however many years have passed. Or at least, some may feel it.

Some can hear its fluttering rhythm. Some can sense the life force that once thrummed through the golden metal, or gorgeous gem, or even the tattered remnant of a wedding gown. Some have the ability, the sensitivity, the gift to be able to connect to those lost ones through these precious objects.

 Xanthe Westlake was such a person.

The tall, young woman with the tumble of golden curls falling about her shoulders was possessed of that special gift. She had been barely eight years old when first it had shown itself. On that particular day she held a small silver teapot, turning it over in her hands, smiling brightly.

“You like that, Xanthe?” her mother, Flora, asked. She nodded, running her fingers over the intricate filigree pattern on the cool silver.

“It’s a happy teapot,” she told her.

“Really? How do you know?”

“Because I can hear it singing,” she said, holding it up. “It was a present from a sailor to his daughter. He’d been away at sea for a long, long time, and when he came home he gave her this, and she made tea for them both. She loved her father very much.”

“Wow,” her mother said. “You got all that from the teapot?” At the time, she must have thought such a proclamation merely the product of a youthful imagination, but later, when she inquired as to the teapot’s provenance and discovered that it had originated in Spain and been part of a sea captain’s estate, well, then she began to take notice of her child’s opinions.

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If you enjoyed the Outlander novels, this may be the book for you.

The Details

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Genre: Time-travel Romance

The best part: The stakes

Is it available on audiobook? Yes