Cover Illustration by Patty Gallinger
Book Design by Craig McConnell
The rooms across the hall from the gallery which overlooked the massive stage were disappointing. I'd hoped to find rows of lights over the dressing tables, lots of make-up bottles and racks of fancy costumes, the kind of behind-the-scenes view I'd seen in magazines. None of those things were there now. I could only imagine what it might have been like. The empty walls were all the same shade of dirty yellow, the paint scarred where fixtures had been removed. The small windows let in a minimum of late afternoon light.
Several sections of a long mirror had been torn off the wall, and I moved through the room to where one remained, mottled and cracked, the last in the line which must have stretched the length of the make-up table.
I dusted its surface with my hand, thinking of the actors and actresses who might have gotten ready to play their movie roles in front of the mirror. I'd seen pictures of early film stars-- women with hair in row after row of tiny little waves, single curls glued to their cheeks, mouths like red valentines. And dreamy-eyed men with sad smiles.
Suddenly, without having heard anyone approach, I saw in the mirror that there was someone behind me. A man. I turned around quickly, but to my surprise, no one was there. The room was empty. Sunlight flared for a moment through the windows. Had my eyes played tricks on me? I turned back to the mirror again.
Someone was reflected there. He was wearing a soft, cloth cap of a beige tweed material that sat at an angle over deep-set brown eyes. Heavy eyelids drooped at the corners, and deep lines ran past his mouth to his chin. It was a sad face rather than one that would frighten me. He just stood there, motionless. And then, while I stared, the figure faded and became nothing.
"This time slip novel, Leavey's second early adolescent novel, is well suited to middle school readers who like a realistic story placed in a realistic setting. Because the story is told in the first person, readers are drawn into the mystery.....The plot coincidences are believable when timing is crucial, and the characters are interesting and credible. An effective plot tie occurs via the use of chapter headings which are written in mirror image. The title's meaning becomes clear at the book's conclusion as characters from the past connect with the present, thereby creating a "circle in time."
Peggy Dymond Leavey can write with authority about the plot's historical setting for she has also written The Movie Years which chronicles Trenton from 1917-34. A Circle in Time, which has a place in school, public and personal libraries, is recommended for individual and class reading. "
Copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. February, 1998
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