Title: A Shortcut in Time
Author: Charles Dickinson
Summary: Euclid Heights, Illinois, is a town of many shortcuts. Josh Winkler, a local artist and longtime resident, knows these irregular pathways well, but he is flabbergasted when a hasty dash down a familiar walk deposits him fifteen minutes in the past. At first, Josh is more intrigued than alarmed by this accidental time travel. Then a disoriented young woman appears, claiming to be from 1908…. As his life, his family, his town, and even history itself begin to unravel, Josh gradually realizes that his only salvation may lie in a shortcut in time.
Just a warning that the following review contains massive spoilers.
Oh, this novel’s potential…. The plot is original, as is the character’s mode of time travel, but the structure and cliff-hanger ending really made this novel more annoying than entertaining. First of all, If I had time-traveled fifteen minutes into the past, like the novel’s protagonist Josh Winkler did, I would not be so freaking calm about it. (I would be just as obsessed, though.) This calmness irked me so much that I’m still thinking about it. Apparently there’s a sequel, titled A Family in Time, but you wouldn’t know it from the incredibly frustrating and blunt ending. Penelope and Josh successfully time-traveled back to whenever this novel takes place and their lives are irrevocably changed. Flo never married Josh—yet Penelope still exists and hasn’t yet ripped a hole into the space-time continuum. Josh is now married to Lee. Jock Itch never existed, which means he never killed Vaughn or caused brain damage to Kurt, which means the Winkler family never went bankrupt to pay for Kurt’s hospital bills… WHICH MEANS THE VERY FABRIC OF TIME AND SPACE HAVE CHANGED.
I actually looked up this novel online to confirm that, no, my copy wasn’t missing any pages. Penelope comes back from 1908 and then nothing. Not even some blank pages—literally just the back cover.
Please tell me that my crazed reaction is not an anomaly because ugh, this book!