At the end of "Fear is the Key," Alistair MacLean wrote
And so it had been with my red rose, before it had turned to white.
When I tried to recall that line, though, what I got was
And so it was with my red rose, before it turned to white.
My version seems better to me. Is there a grammatical reason why MacLean's version is more correct than mine?
If it matters, the preceding text is
The sun was on the rim of the sea now and the western world a great red flame, a flame that would soon be extinguished and vanish as if it had never been.