River of Destiny by Barbara Erskine
I'm a fan of time-slip novels and when I kept hearing this author's name as a top time-slip writer, I thought I'd better give her a go. This is a whopper of a novel, and I bought the print book rather than the ebook.
It's set in three time periods - contemporary, Victorian and Anglo-Saxon. The location is a sleepy Suffolk river, on the banks of which are a few converted barns. Zoe and her husband Ken have moved into one, to pursue their dream of a life outside London and all the sailing you could want. But their marriage isn't working as well as it should, and when Zoe meets their new neighbour, scarred blacksmith Leo, she realises what's been missing. There are ghosts appearing everywhere - a ghost Viking ship on the river and various apparitions in Zoe's barn. In the Victorian story the lady of the manor can't get pregnant by her husband so picks the local blacksmith to be her stud. And in the Anglo-Saxon era, another blacksmith is making a sword, the Destiny Maker, for his lord. There's conflict here between the new Christianity and the old religion - he's a Christian but the sword is to be made according to the old ways, and inscribed with magical runes...
Far too much story to do any kind of a synopsis here and I realise the above all sounds disjointed. But the story does hang together and it's a good read, if a bit overly long. In places it's a little repetitive, and it's definitely not a believable story, there are far too many ghosts appearing for that! But it's an enjoyable read.