Dream of Time
Published July 9, 2013 by Synchronista LLC
I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with this debut novel by Nancy Price.
If you can get past the bland title, and the confusing beginning pages, this book will reward you with hours of entertainment and rich San Francisco history. A perfect beach read.
Time travel is a tricky subject to get right to have it be believable. Price solves the problem and impossibility of physical time travel by having her main character’s psyche travel back and occupy the body of a girl who has “died.” Basically her “host” was brain dead, and Robin – the heroine – takes her over.
I was enthralled with the story – once I figured out what was going on. Perhaps the author meant for this confusion to be present, since it mirrors the confusion the main character deals with in the book’s opening pages. The writing flows well, and the pacing is steady and well done.
The ending was complete and logical. It was a mite predictable, but happily Price throws in a bit of an unpredictable twist to make it more interesting.
Through the entirety of the book, bits of San Francisco history are worked into the story. Obviously, the author loves the city and has a depth of knowledge to match – the book is not only a love story between a man and woman, but between an author and a city. Price has clearly done mountains of research, which only fleshes out and humanizes historical San Francisco.
I loved Robin. Price develops her protagonist extremely well. She is a modern single mother who loves her children fiercely. I connected with her on this level and could see myself thinking the same thoughts Robin does. I also admired how Robin wasn’t obsessed with greed and trying to make her “Now” self rich by abusing her “Then” status. She only wanted to help others and prevent bad things from happening to people. I’m not sure how many people presented with such an opportunity would go down that path. I’d probably invest in something!
The love story between Travis and Robin/Gennie is genuine and lovely. And I appreciated the glossed-over sex. I also respected the lack of cursing and general bawdiness that usually accompanies adult fiction – especially when there is a romance angle. This is a book I would be comfortable recommending to my friends.
I am delighted I got to read this book. A solid first performance for Price, and I genuinely hope there many encore performances from her.