Time and Again
DescriptionThe olden days aren't all they're cracked up to be. . .
Abby thinks tutoring an "an economically disadvantaged adolescent" as her college service project for the summer will be a snap.
Merrideth, her sullen 11-year-old student, thinks "No thanks, I don't need a babysitter."
John thinks Abby's kidding when she tells him she can fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but that of the girl who lived in Merrideth's house 160 years ago.
It's difficult for Abby to break through Merrideth's emotional wall. The girl has been closed down ever since her parents' divorce, especially since she was forced to move to the dilapidated old house that her mom inherited. But when her dad sends her a top-of-the-line computer to make up for it, Abby and Merrideth discover a crazy program that invites them to "Take a Virtual Tour" of houses around the world-- including Merrideth's.
It's a tour all right... a tour of the past when the house was new and a girl named Charlotte Miles lived there. It's like being there, only better. They know Charlotte's thoughts and feelings. They experience her joys and frustrations as she courageously takes on a huge challenge, risking her life for others while her father is off fighting in the Civil War.
Watching from a distance, Abby and Merrideth gain a new perspective on their own lives, their faith strengthened as time and again they see God's loving hand in Charlotte's life.
"What really made the story unique was how she brought the past to life via a computer program. While this book is geared toward teens, I think that anyone who enjoys contemporary and historical fiction woven together will certainly enjoy this book. On a scale of one to five I would easily give this book a six! Highly recommended."
In Time and Again, by Deborah Heal, Abby travels to an extremely small town in Illinois to tutor eleven-year-old Merrideth. However, the summer job is more than Abby expected. Convincing spoiled Merrideth to do her schoolwork is nearly impossible, that is, until the girls find a computer program called Beautiful Houses. The program allows them to “time-surf,” or “spy,” on people who lived in their large house over 150 years before, mainly Charlotte, the daughter of the original owner. What will happen in the lives of Abby, Merrideth, and Charlotte? Will Abby be able to answer Merrideth’s deep questions? And what will happen to Charlotte when the Civil War begins?
I really enjoyed this novella! It was a little slow in the beginning. After all, I thought the entire book would be about time-surfing, but it wasn’t. There was so much more going on in the story than simply watching Charlotte live her life. Abby helped Merrideth grow in self-esteem and kindness, not just help her with her studies. They were friends—eventually, that is.Also, Merrideth had many hard questions. Having had her parents’ divorce a few weeks earlier and then move away from her father, Merrideth is hurting. She feels futility in life—a person is born, dies, and no one even remembers them. But Abby tries to show Merrideth hope in Christ. Abby even uses Beautiful Houses to illustrate that “all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.”
The historical element was a rather realistic portrayal of life in the 1860’s. Charlotte is a young woman who matures throughout the novella. She goes from a teenager who is angry at her father to a woman courageous enough to hide escaped slaves in her attic while feeding soldiers downstairs.
The stories from the escaped slaves were tragic, but yet so realistic. I wish no one had to suffer as they did. I’m just glad slavery is outlawed now.
Overall, Time and Again was a pleasant, thought-provoking novella.
Things you should know: This book is completely clean!
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.