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In this informal and loose synopsis, I will do my best to cover the seven part (thus far) series of Dale Clark’s. It seems to start four years after Julia arrived at Collinwood, so say 1970 or 1971. In the first story, Carolyn is having dreams of someone that we later find out is Vicki being pushed off a cliff by someone she also cannot see (we later find out who this is and I believe it is Jeb). Carolyn seeks help from Julia and Stokes to find out the identity of both and discovers that it is Vicki. For Vicki, it seems three years have gone by since she came to 1796. A strange but seemingly innocent angelic like man named Simon comes to Vicki and Peter to save their lives and he does save Peter. He urges them to return to Collinwood.
At the same time, Julia talks Barnabas out of returning to Vicki’s time and decides to go herself, with Carolyn, using the stairway through time to go there, somehow. On the stairway, Julia saw a shadowy man following them but could not make out his features. Before she and Carolyn leave and meet Joshua, Vicki, and Millicent, however, Carolyn walked in on her mother who was in her room and discovered that the papers her mother held were actually Vicki’s birth certificate. Liz admits that Vicki was indeed her daughter but she will not say who Vicki’s father was. Carolyn is angry and hurt and more determined than ever to find and save Vicki.
Keeping Barnabas (and Quentin) occupied is the mystery of a fire in a work shack near the garage that almost seemed to take David away from them in a strange way: the fire ceased when David commanded it to. Hallie found a picture David had of his mother. David is now 16. Barnabas has a talk with Roger and with Quentin about Laura Collins. He finds out more info from Carolyn and then has a long talk with David about his mother. No one is sure Laura is dead. Not long after, David is visited in his room by Laura in what seems to be a dream…but it is not. Laura leaves David an urn for him in his room.
Once in the 1700s, Carolyn tells Vicki she is her sister and that Liz is their mother. She also tells Vicki that Liz didn’t reveal who Vicki’s father is.
In the remainder of this novel: Carolyn tells Julia about Vicki being Liz’s daughter. Carolyn meets Millicent face to face and they each touch each other and find some part of themselves in each other’s minds. Simon turns out to want to do a ritual that will destroy Angelique from ever having touched the Collins family. Julia is skeptical of it and worse, she gets Peter to believe in her theory: that if Angelique never does what she did, time will change so drastically that Liz and Roger might never be born, that Carolyn will never have existed or that Vicki might not be born either. Her own life will change.
A coven lead by Jeb, who has already killed his own members as a sacrifice, kidnaps Vicki for a Black Mass. Carolyn has a vision that leads them to where Vicki will be sacrificed in the woods. Joshua and Ben attempt a rescue and free her but Ben is shot but merely wounded. With Julia’s care, he survives. As Jeb threatens them all, Peter pushes him off the cliff and Jeb dies, witnessed by Carolyn. Peter is taken by a Constable named Ezra Jenkins and another man. Later on Joshua is told that their carriage was overrun by townspeople loyal to Jeb and Peter was hung and is dead. Joshua will find a way to prove Ezra was a follower of Jeb.
Vicki insists on going on with the Simon ritual and Simon picks the East Wing where the sun strikes a new day. Simon performs it and Angelique tries to goad him and Vicki into acting aggressively. Despite that and despite Simon having a heart attack, a universe in that room opens up a gateway, creating a parallel time where the Collins family was not besieged by spells and death. Joshua sees how happy everyone was there including Naomi, Sarah, Josette and Barnabas and Jeremiah and some new bride of his. Simon dies from his heart attack. Joshua vows to keep this East Wing room closed and shut off.
While all that is happening, Liz visits Barnabas and discovers Carolyn has not told him about Vicki being Liz’s daughter. Quentin takes David out on a speed boat and asks him to tell him anything that is bothering him. David then turns over a scarab that his mother gave him, he says a long time ago. Stokes analyzes it and tells Barnabas and Quentin that he believes this was the focal point. David is safe. The truth is that David lied to them. David hides the urn in the East Wing, unaware of a cinder starting within it.
Julia tells Joshua that Barnabas has been released from the coffin and that he is cured and reasonably happy. Julia says goodbye to Joshua and tells him that he is very like his son. Joshua doubts Barnabas would like that comparison but Julia says, “Oh, I don’t know.” She, Carolyn and Vicki return to the present via the stairway…or at least as the novel ends, are hoping to….