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I loved this book! When Louisa’s mother dies tragically, she blames herself for not being there to prevent it. For comfort she visits Hill House, a derelict old mansion, where she used to play as a child. As she explores the building, she finds herself travelling back in time to Christmas 1913 when Hill House was a spendid and grand building inhabited by the intriguing Mandeville family.
This is a beautifully written story. The descriptions of both eras are very vivid, so easy to visualise. I could almost believe I was in Hill House with Louisa, walking through the grandiose rooms and drinking champagne. It’s very atmospheric. The house sounds wonderful. The time travel aspect is brilliantly and seamlessly accomplished. It's very convincing and there's something of a twist at the end! There are some well drawn and interesting characters, good and bad. I really liked Louisa, she's such a kind-hearted and generous person. There's something to please most readers - mystery, murder and romance. It’s quite the page turner, I found it difficult to put down. It even brought a tear to my eye and I was sad to turn the last page.
An engaging, captivating and moving tale which I thoroughly enjoyed and I can highly recommend. A Christmas story with a difference!
I’d heard some very good things about this book, but I was a little wary as I began reading due to the ‘time slip’ aspect. Historical novels no problem, but people skipping back and forth in time? However, Callie Langridge’s magnificent storytelling overcame my resistance in no time… I was surprised at just how immersed I became in this story. The characters felt so real, and the scenes both past and present are so expertly evoked that I found myself going along with the strangest of things. Lou, a 20-something trained teacher and history graduate is the main character. Some years after qualifying she lives at home and works at her local supermarket, and knows she is going nowhere fast. But she doesn’t believe in herself and can’t get her act together. When her mother is killed on the rough estate where she lives with her mother and brothers, Lou blames herself and runs off to the mysterious Hill House nearby, where she used to play as a child. The house, now derelict, suddenly comes to life and fills with servants and aristocracy, characters from its heyday in 1913 just before the first world war set it on a path to ruin. Even stranger, they are expecting Lou’s arrival… The conveys the emotional states of characters with warmth and sensitivity. (There are some love-to-hate ones too.) A Time To Change is a longish novel but the drama and suspense builds steadily – by the time I was halfway through I didn’t want the book to end. The ending is quite a turnabout, and came as a surprise. The novel is about the power of love to overcome hate and destructive intent. There are some inexplicable, near mystical elements in this novel which may not appeal to everyone. If you can go along with this though and are willing to suspend disbelief for a while, you’re in for a treat.
I’m a bookworm and it’s very rare for me to come across a book that encapsulates my complete attention from the very first pages, that I struggle to put down. This book did exactly that. I wouldn’t normally choose this genre of reading either, I just saw that it had such great reviews. With each page that I turned, I felt like I was reliving what it was like to be alive in the 1913s. The details that the author goes into, makes you feel like you are there with the characters. It’s like a rollercoaster of a journey where you can’t help to want to read more, regardless of how late in the evening it is and with a 5am alarm set. There is only one other book, that I have read, that has given me such raw emotion, like I felt towards the end, and that was an international number one best seller for many weeks. The only down side to the book was that it came to an end....I can’t wait to read more from this author....this book deserves to be a film or a mini series....fantastic read!!!
This beautifully written book actually made me care about the characters and brought a tear to my eye - maybe I’m getting soppy in my old age! I love time travel stories and the “what if. . .” I would categorise this story as a cross between the lovely film, “Somewhere in Time” (based upon the equally riveting but difficult to source novel, “Bid Time Return” by Richard Matheson - I had to import my copy from America) and the TV series, “Goodnight Sweetheart” but without the comedy. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a well-structured, easy to read but thought provoking book. A sci-fi love story that would make a good Christmas movie!
SPOILERS. If I had to make one criticism it would be that the ending was just a little too neat but I suppose anything else would have been a disappointment.
The only time slip story I've ever read is The Time Traveller's Wife and, whilst I know many love it, it really wasn't for me. It did make me reluctant to look at another time slip story but a friend recommended this and I'm really glad I gave the genre a chance. When Louisa's mum is tragically killed, her world falls apart, not that it was exactly a bed of roses in the first place. In a rundown town with few prospects, a place of comfort for her has always been Hill House. Once a grand manor house, it's now as unloved as the rest of the town, but she still feels an affinity with the house, captivated by its history. When it all gets too much, she seeks solace in the derelict house. And then things start to become a little peculiar when she wanders downstairs and steps back into the past. This is a great story of trying to save the former residents of Hill House from their downfall, whilst struggling with her own life in the present. Highly recommended.
I have read many time slip novels, which I normally thoroughly enjoy, but the long beginnning of this one was so depressing, I nearly gave up on it. However, I persevered and my feeling of depression was replaced with one of utter incredulity as the time slip element emerged. I know one has to suspend belief with this type of book but, well, the goings on just seemd so unbelievable, even for a time slip novel, and the movement between the two eras was just unconvincing. And as for the 4-going-on-40-year old Bertie, this was just too silly for words. And then the end part was just bizarre.
I couldn't really warm to Lou until the very end when, to my surprise, I found myself with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. So this has redeemed the story somewhat. But overall I found this rather disappointing. Sorry Callie.
What a beautiful story, so very different from my usual kind of book, but I changed my mind as the story progressed. Having read other reviews I knew I was going to have to keep going, and how glad I was that I did. The time-slip between Victorian and present times was fascinating and I was compelled to keep reading. Like some other readers I read the final pages through a mist of tears - how very real and touching it all seemed to be. This is one book that will live in my memory for a long time.
I am such a big fan of this book for so many reasons. It is story telling at its finest. It is writing at its most brilliant. It is an absolute page turner which tugs at the heart strings. It is commercial yet classy. Both lyrical and gritty. It's historical, modern and timeless all at once. And best of all, it means my Christmas shopping will be completely effortless this year as I'm getting a copy for everyone I know - because it has so much appeal and I'm sure they'll love it as much as I do.
I love any book or film that goes back a100 years or so and this reminded me at first of my favourite film Somewhere in time, and I think it will stay with me as long as that film has. A very well written book with all the characters seeming very real. I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who wonders what it would be like to go back in time without the need of science and a time machine!
I wasn't sure about this book at first. The present day incidents with Lou's family didn't really interest me much. The characters are not particularly interesting or likeable and the book lacks depth. However, there was something about it that held my interest and I was keen to read it to find out what happened next. It gets better when Lou goes back to 1913. She then flits between the past and the present to find the answers to the time travel mystery. It all links together effectively at the end. If you can persevere through the first few chapters then this is definitely worth a read.