Monday 5 January 2015

Book ~ "September Sky" (2015) John A. Heldt

From Goodreads ~ When unemployed San Francisco reporter Chuck Townsend, 45, and his college dropout son, Justin, take a trip to Mexico in 2016, each hopes to rebuild a relationship after years of estrangement. But their journey takes an unexpected turn when they meet a cruise-ship lecturer who has discovered the secret of time travel. 

Within days, Chuck and Justin find themselves in 1900, riding a train to Texas, intent on preventing a distant uncle from being hanged for a crime he did not commit. Their quick trip to Galveston, however, becomes long and complicated when they wrangle with business rivals and fall for two beautiful librarians on the eve of a hurricane that will destroy the city. 

Filled with humor, history, romance, and heartbreak, September Sky follows two directionless souls on the adventure of a lifetime as they try to make their peace with the past, find new purposes, and grapple with the knowledge of things to come.

Chuck is a reporter in California who has just been laid off from his job.  His son, Justin, has just quit college to find himself.  Chuck takes them on a cruise where they attend a lecture about time travel.  When they get home, they receive a call from Professor Bell, the lecturer, who provides them with an interesting opportunity.  Since they have some time and no ties, Chuck and Justin take him up on his offer and go back to 1900.

Chuck and Justin are given fake documents, $1,000 and train tickets to El Paso.  Bell would like them to a least visit Chicago and to record their observations in a journal.  Once they get to April 1900, Chuck has something he wants to take care of first.  His great uncle, Wyatt, in Galveston, TX, was wrongly hanged in 1900 for a murder he didn't commit and Chuck wants to make things right ... but he doesn't know when exactly the murder happened or to whom.

Pretending to be writing a book, he conducts research to see if he can anticipate and perhaps change future events for Wyatt.  Chuck and Justin both fall for librarians Charlotte and Emily, which complicate things as Bell had told them they can't bring anyone back.  Added to this, Chuck and Justin know that the 1900 Galveston hurricane will happen in September 1900, which will wipe out a large part of Galveston and cause many deaths, perhaps even their own and people they've come to know and care about.

This is the sixth book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I like time travel books when people go back in time and I liked how the author handled this one, mixing fiction with a real disaster (things got tense!).  I liked the writing style and found that it moved along at a good pace.   The author wrote about 1900 well and I got a good sense of what it was like living in that time period.  Women still didn't have the right to vote and for the most part, it was a chaste society.  It is written in third person perspective with the focus shifting between Chuck and Justin.

I liked the characters and found them believable.  Family ties are strong throughout the book with Chuck watching Justin become more mature, Emily's loyalty to her younger sister, Charlotte's love for her deceased husband but ready to move on with her life, and Wyatt and Rose's out-of-the-ordinary love.

As with the other books I've read by this author, I would recommend this one.

I received a copy of this ebook at no charge from the author in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

MonieG said...

Overall I liked this one too but loved his Northwest Passage books better. They have better love stories :)