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Book Review: Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis

March 20, 2012

If there were a recipe for my all time favorite kind of book Blackout and All Clear would have ALL the ingredients.

World War 2 History? Check

Time Travel? Check

Humor? Check

Lovable, roundly developed characters? Check

Romance? Check

Historical Accuracy? Double Check


Note: These two books are basically one epic novel in two parts, so I’m reviewing them as if they were one book. Because… they basically are. 🙂

So, here’s the plot. The year is 2060 and time travel has been invented.  Historians from Oxford University travel through time to observe history and we get to follow along.  🙂 This alone would be a giant Win for me, but, of course, there are obstacles and plot twists to thicken the drama and heighten the suspense.  And then there’s, you know, World War 2! to deal with.  I am sort of obsessed with the culture and era of the 1940s.  The War years were a pivotal point in the shaping of Western culture and I’m fascinated by them.  But, I’ll stop babbling about that and get onto the books. 🙂

The story follows three time traveling historians.  Mike, who’s assignment is to observe heroism in the everyday citizens turned war heroes by circumstance and chance.  Polly, who time travels to the heart of the Blitz to observe the legendary courage of the London citizens.  And Eileen, who works at a country manor caring for the evacuees, children who were sent out of the city to protect them from the bombings.  The realism in the stories and characters we meet is so beautiful and sincere that I’m not sure you could convince me that Connie Willis did not actually live in London during WW2.

These novels are brave, fascinating, authentic, thrilling and rank high on my list of all time favorites.  I can’t really explain how epic these books are and how much I loved them. (I’m actually working on my second time through them).  I suggest any fan of historical fiction give it a go.

You will LOVE these books!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susannah permalink
    March 21, 2012 9:45 am

    The one plan I have for this summer that will happen: Read these books!


  1. March Book List « The Shadowlands

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