Elsewhere Girls, by Emily Gale and Nova Weetman, for Timeslip Tuesday

For the first time in ages, after a few weeks of silence while I did home renovations tasks and moved hundreds of books, I actually have a review for Timeslip Tuesday! 

Elsewhere Girls, by Emily Gale and Nova Weetman  (May 4th 2021 by Text Publishing), is a switching places time travel story.  Fanny and Cat are both Australian girls who are competitive swimmers, but Fanny is swimming in 1908 (salt water, uncomfortable bathing costume, no goggles) and Cat in the present day (healthy diet, clean water, with a trainer).  Fanny is fiercely competitive, determined to win; Cat, with a swimming scholarship to a private school her parents can afford her to use, feels burned out.  

Then comes a day when the two girls time themselves with the same stopwatch....and swap places.  Both are bewildered, both want to keep swimming.  And both want badly to be home with their own families. Cat really does not like all the hard domestic labor of Fanny's life and the lack of modern conveniences.  Not even swimming swaps well--Fanny's best stroke, the trudgeon, is not one Cat knows...or that Cat's coach appreciates).  Fanny, on the other hand, appreciates many aspects of modernity, but misses her family, especially her sister, dreadfully.  

It's really good time travel, with both girls struggling to pass as each other and cope with the situation.  Happily, each finds in the other's little sister a friend and ally, and they don't mess thing up too badly for each other, though there are some close calls. When the inevitable happens and they switch back, they bring with them new perspectives and insights--it's not just time travel as tourism, but a growing up experience for both, with plenty of thought provoking depth alongside the fun of temporal culture shock.

But though it's an excellent pick for any time travel fan, it's especially, wonderfully (and obviously) good for time travel readers who are also swimmers!  Fanny is based on a real person--Fanny Durack, the first Australian woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics, and realizing that this is the future in store for her is lovely.

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