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The only real fantastical element in this marvelous tale set in WWII Britain during the Blitz is that it involves time travel. Historians from the near future use this method to get some real hands-on experience as they travel throughout the centuries. This time they step out from Oxford in 2060 back to 1940’s London and the Miracle of Dunkirk.
It is a known fact the historians are there just as observers and cannot alter the past. Or can they? Mike, who is supposed to observe the heroes returning from Dunkirk from the safety of Dover, cannot get to Dover and ends up in a hardly sea-worthy boat that goes to Dunkirk as part of the rescue effort. He gets extremely stressed out later he may have altered history after he hears one of the soldiers say he would not have found the boat if not for the flashlight Mike used to see what he was doing while he tried to free the boat from an obstruction. Another historian, Polly, is equally stressed their portals back to home do not seem to be operating and no one has come to rescue them. Has something terrible happened to the entire organization and apparatus to doom them to remain 120 years in the past? You’ll have to read the sequel, All Clear, to find out.
I loved this book! It was extremely well-written with people who are 3D from a past so vividly brought to life you feel as though you went through the time transport yourself. I have tremendous respect and admiration for the British people during this terrible time. They do not know if they will live from one moment to the next with all the bombs failing, but they take it all in stride. They are much calmer actually than the stressed-out time travelers.
Have you read this book? What did you think?