Sunday, December 3, 2017

Waking in Time (Book Review)

Title: Waking in Time
Author: Angie Stanton
Publication: Switch Press/Capstone, hardcover, 2017
Genre: YA Timetravel
Plot: Abbi is excited to begin her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, although it is bittersweet because she recently lost her grandmother, an ardent alumna who had encouraged her to apply. But one morning she wakes up in 1983 and realizes she has gone back in time, but is still a student at Wisconsin – in fact, in the same dorm and same bed. Frightened and afraid she might not be able to return to present day, Abbi makes two important friends: handsome Will, another time-traveler, born several generations before her, but moving forward in time instead of backward like her; and a geeky college professor who might hold the key to Abbi’s ability to regain control of her life.
Audience: Fans of YA fiction and/or of time travel; University of Wisconsin alumni.

My Impressions: I have always been a fan of time travel, and the unusual college setting added an element of appeal to this book. Because the book is written in the first person, the reader really suffers with Abbi as she tries to navigate the past and determine whether there is some reason she is having this adventure. I would have liked more plot development and more description of her classes and college life but at least the author provides some vivid depictions of the girls Abbi befriends in the past.  Even Abbi's grandmother attended college substantially after Betsy Ray and Carney Sibley but their experience is still of great interest.

A couple years ago I was at a big crew race in Worcester and wound up talking to some University of Wisconsin rowing fanatics. They were very proud of the fact that crew was Wisconsin’s first varsity sport, dating back to 1874. That made me enjoy Will’s devotion to crew even more and gave it plausibility as the one constant while he moved about in time.
Fun Historical FactClick here for a great look at Dorm Life in 19th century Wisconsin.  Women were first admitted to Wisconsin in 1863 and degrees were awarded in 1869. In contrast, my alma mater, Radcliffe College, was not even founded until 1879! 

Source: My sister lent me this book which she had checked out of the Newton Free Library. I am especially pleased to have found a novel published by Capstone, which is headquartered in Mankato, MN, the ancestral home of Maud Hart Lovelace. I recall John Coughlan, the founder, was a big supporter of MHL (I seem to remember that he came briefly to one of the Betsy-Tacy conventions and I was introduced to him by the talented Kathy Baxter). I know the publishing company has continued to thrive after his retirement but as much of Capstone's output is nonfiction I have not had much exposure to it.   I do have to laugh, however, that this time travel novel is classified as Realistic Fiction on the publisher's site!

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

I loved this one, especially since my daughter was about to start college when I read it, and the character goes back to MY college time in her first trip. Too funny! Are you heading to ALA Midwinter in Denver in February? There is going to be a small Lenora Mattingly Weber event if you are interested! Let me know if you need details.