Library Journal Review
This vividly descriptive time-travel adventure by the acclaimed author of "The Time Traveler's Guide" series reads like historical fiction, but given the surreal plot, becomes a story about the love and devotion between two brothers caught in an impossible situation. Journeying home on a cold, bleak day in December 1348, brothers John and William face death as they become victims of the Black Plague. Then a voice comes and offers them a chance to live for six more days, but each day will be 99 years apart in the future. With brotherly loyalty, they accept in hopes of redeeming their souls. So begins a quest through six centuries. In order to survive, the brothers quickly adjust to changing customs, religious beliefs, inventions, food, clothing, and laws. They stay true to each other and their moral beliefs but wonder how they can be redeemed in the end. VERDICT The period immersion in this unusual tale of time travel and redemption comes close in detail and tone to Jack Finney's Time and Again and From Time to Time, as well as Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. Highly recommended-Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Man's yearning for purpose and legacy are traced through the eyes of a devout stone carver in the latest from Mortimer (The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England), a compassionate and thought-provoking exploration of faith, conscience, guilt, self-worth, and redemption. In 1348 England, John of Wrayment ("Everyman") and his older, sinful brother, William Beard, return home to Exeter, avoiding plague-ridden travelers and dead bodies along the road. After an act of kindness brings disastrous results, they become infected and fear returning to their families. Desperate, John is confronted by a mystical voice offering to let him and his brother live each one of their six remaining days 99 years after the last. Eager to make amends and earn his place in heaven, John accepts. Over 595 years, culminating with the bombings of World War II in 1942, Mortimer's melancholy jaunt through the ages reveals the cultural and technological advancements of food, fashion, religion, government, and war. John observes the paradox that "man is a devil to man" yet has immense capacity for charity and benevolence. Through John, Mortimer tackles the philosophical quandaries of man's brutality and hypocrisy, the nature of sin, duty to crown and country, and every man's desire to have lived a worthy life, resulting in a ruminative and imaginative novel. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
In 1348, the Black Death cuts a devastating swath through England. While traveling, brothers John and William are struck down, but an unknown voice (devil? angel?) offers a choice: go home, die now in familiar surroundings, and risk infecting those you love, or be given an additional six days to search for salvation. The catch? Each day is lived 99 years after the last, sending the brothers hurtling forward on a disorienting journey through time. The soul-saving plotline receives short shrift, but that is not the point here. Mortimer has authored a handful of guidebooks to different periods, including The Time Traveler's Guide to Restoration Britain (2017), and this is a retooling of that concept: instead of transporting a modern reader back, he brings a fictional historical character forward. The end goal is the same: to give the reader a personal, fish-out-of-water perspective on different time periods. Through everyday details, the reader, along with the brothers, is drawn into the experience of the astounding changes in technology and society that occur with the passage of time.--Latham, Bethany Copyright 2017 Booklist