Saturday, 31 December 2011

Time Breaking by Barbara Spencer

ISBN 978 1848767 331   
This is a self-published book I was asked to review for Troubadour. I make no apology for including it here. It took me into that reader zone, where the inner critic shuts up, much more effectively than many mainstream published books do. It is the story of Molly who accidentally slips into the 17th century and becomes Molly Hampton. It is a well-executed time-slip novel.
Barbara Spencer keeps the temporal logistics well in check. I’d go as far as saying time works here even better than it does in Dr Who or Tom’s Midnight Garden. Molly in both of her worlds is convincing and likeable. She does not have a particularly easy ride either in the 21st or 17th centuries. She is exactly right for her young adult readers: she is like a young adult, the story is left a little open-ended, there is a darker side to both settings and the story is a typical young adult Bildungsroman where the protagonist struggles to come to terms with who she really is.  
A strong love interest, some explicit abuse and a complex emotional background, in both worlds, make this novel suitable for older teens and young adults. Troubador’s RRP price of £7.99 is perfectly reasonable. The book is nicely printed. The cover is appealing and suits the story well. 

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