Today's time travel book, All In Good Time, by Edward Ormondroyd, is a sequel to one I reviewed a short while ago--Time At the Top. It's impossible to write about All In Good Time without spoiler for the first one, so consider yourself warned!
Spoiler space, just in case....
So. At the end of Time At the Top, Susan Shaw had dragged her father onto the time travelling elevator, planning to marry him off to the lovely lady she had met back in 1881. Said lady's children, a boy and a girl, were keen on the idea as well--after all, with nasty men like the despicable Mr. Sweeney keen on marrying her for her money, Susan's father seemed like a nice safe bet.
Except that, once Susan and her father arrive in 1881, he doesn't want stay and be married off. And that's not all that goes wrong. Mr. Sweeney is back, hatching more despicable schemes, the children's carefully acquired treasure goes missing, and, perhaps worst of all, dictatorial, opinionated, and thoroughly nasty Cousin Jane has arrived on the scene. In the face of all these obstacles, will Susan be able to make her dream come true?
The reader already knows, from reading the first book, that the answer is yes. But still--there is enough uncomfortableness here that I had to keep reminding myself of this! It wasn't quite the cozy read of domestic happiness I had hoped it would be....for which the blame must be split between Mr. Sweeney and Cousin Jane. I did, however, love the clever way in which those two baddies were properly sorted in the end!
The presence of the author, as an interested observer (busily reading Susan's 19th-century diary) and minor participant, back in the present, and the fate of the elevator (which is almost a character in itself) add interest. And the efforts of Susan and (somewhat half-heartedly at first) her father to fit in in the past made for good reading. So despite my own shallow desire for soothingness, it was a fun book, and finishes off the story begun in Time At the Top very nicely!
Give this series to your ten year-old self to read--she'll enjoy them lots! Purple House Press has recently released an omnibus reprint (shown at left) making them easy to find.
And good thing, too, given the Utter Hideousness of the original cover of this one!
(Ms. Yingling often posts time travel books on Tuesdays too--this week she looked at Always a Witch, by Carolyn MacCullough.