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By E. B. Alston
Paperback-450 pages- $25.00
Ethan McRae began his life in the late twentieth century. By 2011, when he was 27 years old, he was on the verge of being promoted to executive level in a public utility. On a flight to Atlanta, he meets a mysterious woman. She is a former beauty queen, and a numerologist who believes in destiny and time travel. Six days later they marry. She discovers a portal to the past and they can move back and forth from 2011 to 1861. They visit a plantation called Tallulah. She comes to believe she belongs there, quits her job and moves to Tallulah to stay. He follows her, ends up in the Civil War, and soon they learn they can never return.
First Reader Comment
One man, two women. Two love stories that defy both time and
space. That’s Eugene Alston’s fiction-based-on-fact novel “Time Traveler.”
Second Reader Comment
I love, love, love this book!!! This is your best one yet! (in my humble opinion) After reading the first chapter I was hooked... from there on I actually wanted to be one of the characters! The second time that I read the book I put myself in Elizabeth's character as my own... I am hooked, hooked, hooked!!! OMG!! P. L. Almanza, Author of The EastSide Killers.
The First Review
Reviewed by Elizabeth Silance Ballard ,
author of Three Letters From Teddy and Other Stories
, author of Three Letters From Teddy and Other Stories
“Time Traveler” has now become my favorite book by E. B. Alston and I have read all of his books. This is one of those rare books which will capture the interest of both men and women; especially those who are proponents or even just wishful thinkers regarding time travel, those who are die hard civil war buffs, those who are interested in the life and times of our southern forbears, those who wonder about the possibilities and pitfalls of the freed slaves and those who truly enjoy a good love story. All of these areas of interest are skillfully woven together to produce a story as captivating as “Gone With the Wind.”
Unless one has read about and studied the possibilities of time travel, the premise of a couple passing through a “portal” in a motel room into pre-civil war Georgia might seem a contrivance, a fantasy. However, it is a well known fact that Einstein believed time travel was possible and Mr. Alston has also included theories by other scientists who apparently believed in this most unique of possible experiences.
Many U.S. citizens believe there are portals “out there” through which people pass and seldom return—the Bermuda (or Devil’s) Triangle being one of them. Many documentaries regarding this unique spot in the Atlantic specifically mention the possibility of a time travel portal.
Whether this is true or not, the possible experiences of a man from the year 2011 stepping into the year 1861 and contemplating his future is riveting. Does he want to stay in that era? Or shall he return to 2011 where his career is definitely lucrative and upwardly mobile?
You will not want to put the book down. However, it is written in such a way that it is easy to pick back up and continue the story as if you had not been away for a while in the living of your own life. This might be because, from page 12 until page 450, you feel as if you, too, are living on a plantation in Georgia.
The author could easily have just written another historical novel and that story could have stood alone and been well received. How much better, though, when the main character has come from another time, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge! A truly unique book.
I hesitate to say too much about the plot because I do not want to take away your own excitement and wonder as the story unfolds. Suffice it to say, this is a book which will stay with you long after you read it, and you will find yourself wondering, “What would I have done in that situation?”
Time Traveler reviewed by Sandra Girouard
I noted that the author makes a point of saying the novel is not historical fiction. In my hubris, I remember vaguely thinking, “We’ll see…”
The author knew exactly what he was talking about. Time Traveler is not a work of historical fiction. However, I was in no way disappointed. It’s a fanciful story that takes places partly in the twenty-first century, partly in the nineteenth century, and makes a few allusions to activities in the late twentieth century.
To summarize, Ethan McRae is born in the late twentieth century, and raised almost exclusively by his mother. In fact, he rarely, if ever, sees his father (and never visits) after turning four. He knows he has eight older brothers, but never sees them either, growing up alone with his mother. He becomes successful, attending West Point, serving in the Middle East, and eventually landing a corporate job with a telecommunications company, at which he’s excelling. After a failed marriage, he encounters a lovely young woman, is swept off his feet, and marries her in haste… Then he discovers, she believes in time travel.
Ethan’s new wife, Bess, discovers a stable portal through which the two can travel between the early twenty-first and mid-nineteenth century, and the two begin visiting on their weekends. They make friends in the pre-Civil War south, returning home during the week to their lives of work… and a new found passion for studying nineteenth century U.S. history. Eventually, the two make the decision to move to the 1800’s, which becomes their permanent home.
The balance of the story is the rest of the McRae’s life. He becomes an officer and ultimately a general for the confederacy in the Civil War. After the war, he becomes a successful farmer, and raises a large family. The story encompasses the war, of course, tragedies personal and societal typical of the era, and no small amount of adventure.
One of my favorite aspects of the story is how McRae leverages his knowledge from the time in which he was born. He becomes a person on the cutting edge of new technologies. He doesn’t always buy it immediately, but he knows what to expect and knows when it’s worth it to invest in what seems, to most, new, unfamiliar, and terribly expensive. From a steam engine (which is used in ways including as a tractor) to just a new style of long gun for hunting, the character knows when to make a move to take the best advantage. All of the studying he did before and after his move 150 years “backwards” paid off.