Greg Zehr (Greg), is a discontinued nerd-jock hybrid model and a cave-dweller who possesses slightly more than a passing knowledge of what a blog is. He is proficient at reading science fiction books made of paper, and has been to the used book store near your house many times. He admires and respects people who make computer thingies go, and is younger than you think for being so technologically stunted. This is his first GMRC review.
Protagonists. Merope Ward, an Oxford historian, is playing nanny with English (child) evacuees during the blitz. Misbehavior, mischief, and confusion ensue. Big surprise there for Connie Willis fans.
Polly Churchill, an Oxford historian, is posing as a shop-girl during the Blitz. Fabulous idea. Whatever could go wrong Polly? Capital idea!
Colin Templer, a teenager-with-a-rager who is enamored with Polly, devises to spend research time in the middle ages in order to catch up in age to Polly. Space-time continuum stuff. Chronological trickery. Janeway could never quite get this stuff right. Digression.
Michael Davies, another Oxford historian, attempts to witness some thrilling heroics (Jayne Cobb, REPRESENT!) during the aftermath of the battle of Dunkirk, where fishermen and octogenarians and various other non-combatants assist in the evacuation of soldiers, who, thanks to them, live to stab Nazis another day. Good times.
Mr. Dunworthy, thesis advisor – slash – Indiana Jones – slash! – hopelessly confused Englishman comes to the rescue (not really).
Trouble with the timeline!
Time travel affecting the past!
Goddamit Janeway, stop messing with the continuum! Sorry, wrong story.
The once widely-held truisms of time-travel (historians cannot affect the past) are suddenly questioned by these endearing characters. Small discrepancies start to crop up. Things may be able to be altered. This could turn out really badly, you see, because the good guys won WW2. It would be… uh… not good to mess that little detail up.
I apologize right now if you are under the impression that this book is anything but excellent. It is excellent. Connie Willis’ ‘who’s on first’ narrative could become tiresome if it wasn’t so damn well done. I shall be clear. It is damn well done. I was in a tube station rehearsing a play during the Blitz. I was bombed by Stukas, which sucked, as you might surmise. I fell in love with a girl in a pub, whilst trying to figure out where and when the bloody hell I was.
Annoying British children!
This is a very good book. Get Blackout first, ‘cause it’s a two-parter and you’ll be confused if you start with this book. It is worth it.