I read this book as a girl some time ago. It was about a young girl (early teens?) who is rummaging through some old clothes, (at her mums friends house/ or mebe a shop) . She finds this article of clothing, (I thought it was a dress but it could be a cape :/). She doesn't understand what it does, until she bumps her head running (?).

Anyway she ends up travelling backwards in time quite a bit (mebe a 100 or two years) she is knocked over and is found and helped by a young man called Judah? He is betrothed to marry a beautiful girl (possibly named Meg) who was hurt in an accident in a billycart when they were children. (I think she broke her hip.) The main character Sara (Sarah) falls in love with this guy Judah, and feels guilty for doing so. She is kind of stuck in this other reality back in time and is trying to get back home.

She ends up trying to save Judah from an accident that she reads about in a newspaper (when she gets back to the present time) but worries that she won't be able to as her little sister cut up the clothing for her teddy or doll. I cannot remember if she ends up saving /warning the character Judah or his future wife... but I would love to read this again and find out /jog my memory.

It was a paperback book, a few pages (mebe 100 or more) brown or black cover, with an oval picture in the middle of a girls face? And a picture of the fabric of the clothing. I remember the clothing (dress, Cape or something) was crocheted and had flower details embroidered on it. Please help!

  • Possible dupe? scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/34414/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 15:16
  • You're the same erin that posted here, right? You should add some of the detail from that description here. Every little bit helps.
    – Trish Ling
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 18:57
  • 1
    It does sounds a lot like Playing Beatie Bow, although I've only seen the film adaptation. Commented May 13, 2015 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


Playing Beatie Bow, by Ruth Park, originally published in 1980?

Book Cover - Playing Beatie Bow - paperback Book Cover - Playing Beatie Bow - hardback

The main character also goes by the name Abigail. Abigail finds the dress (with a flower-crocheted neckpiece) in her mother's shop, and follows a grubby little girl around an alley or stairs around Sydney's The Rocks in the 1970s; they emerge in the girl (Beatie)'s time, the 1880s, and Abigail is accidentally injured by Beatie's father and taken in by the family. Judah is Beatie's brother, and his fiancee is Dovey (Dorcas), who has a badly healed hip.

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