The March theme for the 2016 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge is Take a Trip, so here are 3 of our favorite reads that involve a trip into the past – via time travel!
11/22/63, Stephen King
Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke.
I barreled through this 849 page book in just a matter of days – so you know I was having a good time reading it – King is simply the master of suspense. There was plenty of plot, action and intrigue happening, and I just ate it up. But there was some lag throughout the middle. Jake had a few months to kill, and not much to do, and I felt like I was going through the doldrums of his life with him … but it didn’t last long, and overall, I would say that King has created a masterful piece of work here.
Kindred, Octavia Butler
Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.
Reading this book will take you on an emotional ride. It’s more about how Dana deals with coming face to face with slavery, than it is about the time traveling aspect. But it gave me all the feels and made me want to read more from Butler.
Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways.
A sad but beautiful book. Having the same life over and over again can be a joyless endeavor. The writing is astonishingly good, and the audiobook is amazing.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for books with time travel to the past?