Help A Bitch Out

HABO: She read it in Dutch

Shari writes in looking for a book she read in Dutch, and would love to read again:

I have a HABO-request I was hoping you could put before the Bitchery! The book I am looking for was my very first ‘real’ romance, although I didn’t really recognize it as such at the time. I remember a lot about the story, but it has proven impossible for me to find because I read it in Dutch – googling the title is not an option. The story is about a woman who dies in a carcrash and is transported to the past into the body of the horrible wife of a lord (or something). The ‘new’ inhabitant of the body completely turns around the life of the ‘old’ woman – is kinder to everyone, eats healthy, jogs (she wears shorts – huge drama when the husband finds out). Of course the husband – after much suspicion – can’t help but fall in love with his reformed wife.

Then there is a BIG misunderstanding where the husband thinks her character-change was faked, so she wouldn’t be disinherited or something like that, but of course they make up in the end. I remember also that the heroine’s present-day husband is brought a folder by a lawyer containing the entire story his wife has sent him from the past. Rereading this summary it sounds like a dreadful book and even a little creepy, but I’d still love to find it and reread it in light of all the romance reading-experience I have garnered over the years. O, I read this book about ten years ago, but couldn’t say wether it was actually written at that time or earlier (or even later, what with all the time-traveling :p).

Thank you so much in advance for your help – and of course feel free to edit (English is not my first language :p)!

At first, when I stared reading Shari’s email, I thought it was the PC Cast novel Goddess of Spring but that’s not right at all. Anyone remember Shari’s book?

 

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  1. 1
    SWegener says:

    I just re-read the Second Lady Emily by Alison Lane that has some of those aspects, well the time travel into another person’s body and then the getting healthy part.

  2. 2
    Amitatuq says:

    I don’t know it but that sounds good!  Although I’m not sure how I’d feel about her being married and then just falling for the new husband when she inhabits his wife’s body.

  3. 3
    CrookedGoose says:

    And this is why I read your blog!  HABO’s are my favorite and I love how she first read it in Dutch. I will check back and find out what this book is but I might have to read Second Lady Emily because of the time travel.  Love the Bitchery!

  4. 4
    smcdavid says:

    It sounds more like Goddess by Mistake . Also by PC Cast.

  5. 5
    AE says:

    Could it be Awaken, My Love by Robin Schone?

  6. 6
    Carolanne says:

    Yay, I know one! That Other Catherine by Linda Lael Miller, in the anthology Together. Catherine is tossed back from 1991 to 1891 and takes the place of the hero’s slutty wife.

  7. 7
    John says:

    While this isn’t it, it has some similarities to a time travel from the 90’s I read recently, Love Just In Time by Flora Speer.  It had some similarities – the heroine dies in a car crash and is thus transported back in time while her cheating husband in the present day just thinks she is dead (the bastard.)  Then she gets a better life, befriends a local madame, and starts the slightly scandalous action of wearing pants to do outside chores in.

    So not the one you’re looking for, but it’s vaguely similar.  I’ll have to read it, as it sounds like my kind of compelling.

  8. 8
    Staple says:

    I know this one isn’t it, but if anyone is looking for a similar time travel mechanism, Household Gods by Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove is about a woman transported into the body of a Roman woman.

  9. 9
    Laurie says:

    @ Staple: Holy synchronicity, Batman! I was just thinking about this one yesterday:) She was a lawyer, wasn’t she? Good read!

  10. 10
    rednikki says:

    OK – I”m not going to be very helpful here, but I know I read this book because I cried when he got the folder. And I’m 99.99% she was transported back to the medieval era. I also think this is from the early-mid ‘90s. I was almost sure it was a Constance O’‘Day Flannery, but it’s not. I think it was a Timeswept?

  11. 11
    Carolanne says:

    In That Other Katherine the 1991 Katherine is in a car wreck and she ends up in the body of 1891 Katherine, who’s in labor. Her 1891 husband hates her cuz she’s been sleeping around. He doesn’t want the baby boy to inherit. She writes down her story and he is finally convinced because her handwriting is different from 1891 Katherine.

  12. 12
    Jen says:

    This sounds alot like “When there is hope” by Jane Goodger to me. I believe the heroine was killed in a car accident and sent back in time to a sea side manor in Rhode Island. At the end her original husband from the future gets a letter from her about her life. Great book!

  13. 13
    Amy says:

    This has got to be The Elsingham Portrait by Elizabeth Chater

  14. 14
    Jessica says:

    Jen has it, “When There is Hope” by Jane Goodger. It’s a great book, I reread it every few months.

  15. 15
    SWegener says:

    Man I love these time travel books, I wish they still put them out like they used to. I read and re-read The Second Lady Emily when I was in highschool, but when I purchased it and re-read it I realized that the book I remembered was made up of elements from a lot of different books I was reading at the time.

  16. 16
    Susan says:

    Sounds like the time travel trope is very common.  I bet some of these tropes go back to ancient civilizations.

    In my experience, true originality is extremely rare.

    larger82:  Actually I am larger than I was in 1982…

  17. 17
    Augustina says:

    Hi everyone,

    I was the one looking for this book and it is indeed ‘When there is hope’. I’m so happy the book is still available and that so many people love it (cf. also Amazon’s reviews). I remember completely loving the book when I read it and I do think my summary did not do the story justice at all, but thank you so much for helping me find it! You guys are terrific! I can’t wait to go back to my ‘first romance’! Happy reading everyone – and thanks especially to Sarah for putting my question on the blog!

  18. 18
    Sarah says:

    Yes!  It’s definitely When There Is Hope. I remember loving it too…Margaret is horrible, but Maggie is great. I’m going to go find a copy too!

  19. 19
    TracyP says:

    Sounds so much like something Sandra Hill would write, though she doesn’t stray much from the viking story lines.  I think it’s funny there are so many different responses to the same story line.

  20. 20
    Angela says:

    This book you mention has to be When There Is Hope by Jane Goodger. I just recently read most of her books, so this book sounds like the one you are loooking for…..try her contemporary ones too. I have enjoyed all I have read by her.

  21. 21
    Barbara says:

    Guess what UPS brought me today?  You horrible HaBo helpers made me want to read it so I bought an old copy of When There is Hope from Amazon for $4.  I can’t wait to dig in.  :)

  22. 22
    Elizabeth says:

    I’m pretty sure this book is The Love of a Lifetime by Maren Suber.

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