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Both Sides of Time Hardcover – October 9, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Though narrated in the stylized, spine-tingling voice that has become a Cooney trademark, this tale of time travel and romance lacks the momentum of the author's best work (The Face on the Milk Carton; Driver's Ed). While her decidedly unromantic boyfriend tinkers with a car engine, Annie wanders through the soon-to-be-demolished Stratton mansion, longing for a more gracious way of life. Suddenly she "falls through" 100 years-landing in 1895 just in time to witness (albeit hazily) a murder. The first person Annie meets is Hiram "Strat" Stratton, slated to inherit both the mansion and the family fortune if he marries his plain but sweet and devoted cousin Harriett. Annie and Strat fall head over heels in love, thus reproducing in the 19th century a triangle loosely similar to the situation created by Annie's father, who, unbeknownst to Annie's mother, is conducting an affair with a co-worker. Along with the murder, the various affairs of the heart provide fodder for almost requisite musings on the position of women then and now. Constrained by the novel's black-and-white approach, the truly intriguing social issues raised here never acquire real urgency. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 6^-10. Disturbed by her parents' marital discord and completely taken for granted by Sean, her mechanically inclined boyfriend, Annie Lockwood is ripe for romance. And where better to find it than in the past--a past epitomized by the once elegant mansion about to be razed in her hometown. At the mansion during a storm, Annie finds herself falling 100 years back in time to a point, where she encounters the romantic idyll she has yearned for and where she alters the lives of several people when she and Hiram Stratton Jr. fall in love. But she realizes that the 1890s are not her time and makes the transition back to the present, only to realize that she has to return to prevent a miscarriage of justice because a ladies' maid has been wrongfully accused of murder. Life among the wealthy in the 1890s is nicely rendered, as are Annie's bittersweet experiences. However, after the first time, Annie's time shifting loses credibility, and her ready acceptance by the Strattons is forced. But romantics will be caught up by the story and will catch their breath at the cliff-hanger of an ending, when Annie, trying to return to her own time, falls even further back in time and "opened her eyes to see when, and what, came next." Sally Estes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Annie is a high school girl with a handsome but unfortunately unromantic, car-obsessed boyfriend. He lives at the soon to be demolished, now apartmented, Stratton Mansion. Annie dreams of the days when the mansion was at its peak and of the romance that must have occurred there. Suddenly she finds herself flung 100 years into the past in a real-life true romance, the rival of rich but plain, love-stricken Harriet who pines for the same man as Annie. What Annie didn't bargain for was a murder mystery and a plot against the entire Stratton family by several wicked characters, working together and separately for their own selfish goals and twisted motives. It's a race against time to save herself, her true love and those around him.
I recommend Both Sides of Time, and its companion Out of Time to anyone with a heart for romance and a desire to live in times long past. The characters will surprise you and will make you think twice about human nature, you might even find pity for those you hate and unexpected sympathy. Your heart will be in your throat to the very end.
The 1880s seem incredibly romantic to Annie, so much better than her own ugly, plastic century. It is an age when men are men and women are women and no one mistakes one for the other. The men are charming and chivalrous. Their courtliness is so attractive to girl whose boyfriend expected her to load his tools in his truck for him. What could be better than to wear beautiful, feminine dresses and live in a luxurious mansion?
But it's also a time of tremendous stiffness and formality. Even young people call each other by their formal titles of Mr. and Miss. And everyone is expected to "modulate" themselves and be subject to elaborate "rules of behavior." Women's lives are even more restrictive than the corsets they wear.
Strat is fascinated by this beautiful free-spirited girl that lands in his world. He is both attracted to and shocked by her unconfined body and bare legs. Unlike his peers, he seems willing to let her be who she is, and loves her in spite of her alien nature.
But Annie realizes that we don't own time as we think we do with our clocks and watches. Time owns us. We are a product of our time. Will her relationship with Strat be sustainable in a world where men make the rules and govern the lives of their women, own their women? A world where a woman who doesn't marry ceases to have any value? In Strat's world women are so desperate for marriage that they sometimes give up relative freedom and a chance to go to college to marry repellant men old enough to be their fathers, men who only want their money.
Annie is a "Century Changer." She can choose which century she wants to live in. But no matter which century she chooses, someone will be unhappy. She has made a mess of it on both sides of time. If only she can keep everybody safe and still get a happily ever after for herself.
by Deborah Heal, author of Time and Again: Charlotte of Miles Station