Book Review: When Destiny Calls by Tricia McGill


Whisked by some unseen force from the Covid-19 ridden world of 2020 in Australia, to an equally horrific time in the past, carer Chloe Simpson finds herself in North London during the Blitz of 1940. Could be that Chloe became too immersed in the stories related to her by Minnie, a woman in the Australian nursing home where she cares for elderly people. Stories about the dreadful days and nights endured during the Blitz.

Engrossed in the stories surrounding photographs in 98-year-old Minnie Clacton’s cherished album, back in time Chloe meets up with the young Minnie plus her own Great Great Grandmother Aggie. 

In the midst of an air raid, Chloe is discovered, wet and confused, by a man and his dog. A man and his canine companion who coincidentally appeared prominently in the photo album alongside the young Minnie and Aggie. Did Chloe simply answer the call of Destiny?

My Review:

This is one of the hardest books I’ve ever tried to review. Every single thing I’d like to talk about would be a spoiler, and I don’t like spoiler reviews. So, I’ll do the best I can.

In summary, Chloe, a 21st century Australian woman is transported back in time to World War II London during the Blitz. She is taken in by people whom she feels as if she already knows, and in a way she does. Chloe worked in an Australian nursing home and cared for an elderly woman who shared her photo album and stories of World War II. After seeing all these people in the album Chloe now has the chance to meet them in real life. She likes the people very much, and that includes Bill the man who found her when she first was transported to London. 

Things I Liked:

Chloe eventually tells Bill the truth about where she came from. To me, his reaction is very realistic. In a nutshell, he doesn’t want to hear it. It makes him too uncomfortable, which I can totally understand.

I liked how Bill’s family takes Chloe in and treats her as one of their own. I did think they were a little naïve, though. Even in 1940s London people would have had questions about Chloe that they wanted answers to.

It was interesting to see Chloe interact with people whom she previously only knew as people in a photograph, especially her own great-grandmother.

The plot was interesting, the setting well done.

The last line of the book was brilliant. It will make the reader think hard. I’ve never read a time travel novel that posed such a scenario. 

After making a life in the past, Chloe worries that she will unexpectedly be transported back to Australia. This gives a nice element of suspense to the story. 

Things I Didn’t Like So Much:

The book is billed as a romance, and there is some romance, but not like you are probably imagining. 

This was a short book that spanned many years so it was a fast-paced work that didn’t go into much detail about Chloe’s later years, and in several places I wished that it would. It would have made a stronger story.

All in all, I found it to be an entertaining read. If you enjoy time travel, I think you will too.

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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6 Responses to Book Review: When Destiny Calls by Tricia McGill

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    This sounds like some heavy reading, and I bet it would make a great movie. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Oh, this sounds lovely! However, let me tell you that up until the last few years, every Australian I ever met immediately treated me like, well, like family; like an old friend they had known all of their lives. I can only imagine that while Americans, English and others were pulling together like never before, the Australians must have been pulling in with just about anyone; I doubt that they thought that there would be a lot of Nazi spies there. I think the background of most Australians brought this attitude; so many were sent against their will or under stress and it was hard.They had to be strong, so they couldn’t be shy, and they had to depend on each other. I can see them taking her in and treating her like family, so that is not a problem to me, since I had people who warmed right up and even neighbors who just made themselves part of my family! At first I used to think, “They treat you like a long, lost relative” but then I realized that “No, they treat you like a close relative or a life-long friend.”
    (My brother even said the Australian troops in Vietnam were the warmest and friendliest peopel he ever met.)
    That part of the story, being set in Australia of the past, is possibly the most realistic part of the story.


  3. Jeff Salter says:

    I’m a big fan of time-travel stories and I love stories set during WW2. This sounds like a winner!


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