"Wacky, way out time traveling adventure"
Euclid Heights, Illinois is a very special place because at
certain moments when conditions are right, people can go
back or forward in time. Josh Winkler is the first to
discover this when he goes back fifteen minutes in time.
He tells his wife Flo and his daughter Penny but they think
he is either or not in his right mind. His wife, a
pediatrician, insists he obtain an MRI to see if he has a
brain tumor but it comes back negative so they just ignore
the whole situation.
Life gets more complicated when fifteen-year-old Constance
Morceau shows up telling Josh she is from 1908. He doesn't
believe a word she says and believes the girl is a con
artist wanting to rip them off. Josh checks the records
and believes Constance. She is accumulating knowledge
before she tries to return to her own time. When Constance
disappears, Josh thinks the time traveling episode is
finished until his own daughter vanishes and he must go
back in time to bring her home.
A SHORTCUT IN TIME is a wacky, way out time traveling
adventure that would make a great movie (similar to Back to
the Future but wackier). Charles Dickinson uses the time
travel paradox to show that time is fluid and the future
can be changed. The protagonist is an easygoing struggling
artist who takes the idea of traveling in time in strides.
Yet unbelievable as that sounds, he's a plausible character
and readers will hope that he can find a way to go back in
time to retrieve his daughter before she dies in the 1918
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted December 9, 2002
Charles Dickinson's novels and short stories have won
widespread acclaim for their deft characterization,
humanity, and humor. Newsday described him as "a writer
thoroughly in command of his art," while the Chicago
Tribune wrote "he can surprise us at almost every turn."
Now Dickinson slips beyond the bounds of mundane realism to
create a poignant fantasy that bears comparison to the work
of Jack Finney and Jonathan Carroll.
Euclid, Illinois, is a town of many shortcuts, between
houses, through orchards, and across fields. Josh Winkler,
a local artist and longtime resident, knows these irregular
pathways well, but is thoroughly taken aback when a hasty
dash down a familiar walk deposits him fifteen minutes in
the past--literally. At first, Josh is more intrigued than
alarmed by this accidental time travel. Then a lost 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 Time.
Charles Dickinson has written a moving and unforgettable
book about the way the past can affect the present as well
as, sometimes, the other way around.