Author: Connie Willis
Genre: Science fiction, time travel fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: Colin tried the door, but it was locked.
Well, first of all I can understand why the people who read this book when it first came out were upset. If I finished the book knowing that I had to wait several months to read the rest of the story, I would NOT have been happy. Fortunately, I have All Clear already sitting on my shelf. (Anyone want to continue the read-along in August?) I really think the two books could have been combined. Yes, it would have been a monstrous chunkster, but the end of this book does not feel like the end of a book; it feels like the normal end of a chapter.
So let’s talk about our three intrepid historians. Eileen/Merope, Polly, and Mike have finally found each other and are beginning to come to the realization that something terribly wrong has happened in the lab at Oxford. There is simply no other explanation as to why no one has come looking for them.
I found it interesting that Eileen was so strong while caring for the refugees during the measles outbreak, but as soon as she found Polly and Mike, she had a breakdown. Of course, she hadn’t expected to be stuck in London in the middle of the Blitz – I’d be freaking out, too! That’s the thing that kept going through my head during the second half of the book – that now the historians were truly experiencing history. All of their “outs” and much of their foreknowledge has been taken away, and they are now facing the war just like the contemps. Of course, Polly is also facing a deadline – if she is still back in time when V-E Day comes, she’ll be dead, as she’d already traveled to that place and historians can’t have two versions of themselves in the same time.
Last thing – the final chapter. Who is your guess as to who came through? I’m thinking it’s Colin. But I’m confused as to how he was able to travel back if things are going wrong in Oxford. Unless his traveling to September 1940 is the very thing that caused the problem. I can’t wait to start All Clear!
If you have been following along, please leave your thoughts or a link to your own post in the comments. It has been fun reading along with all of you. And thank you to Avis for hosting with me!