Review published on October 4, 2017.
A Time to Change appealed to me the minute I read the blurb. I love time slip novels and I love time travel and this is the perfect mixture of both of those.
Louisa Arnold suffers a tragedy in her life in 2013 and finds herself wandering around Hill House, the manor house near to the housing estate where she lives. It’s fallen into disrepair due to various family problems but Lou remembers it as somewhere she played as a child.
In a perfect set of circumstances, Lou manages to do something that I dream of being able to do. She literally steps back in time. She becomes a house guest of the Mandeville family 100 years earlier. It’s a crucial time in history as World War 1 is on the horizon.
How wonderful it would be to be able to experience firsthand life in the past. But it’s not that easy for Lou. She knows she must try and do all she can to save the family from ruin and the house from becoming what it is in her time: an empty shell.
I absolutely adored this book. It’s so atmospheric. I could imagine exactly how the house looked, from the magnificent ballroom with its beautiful chandeliers to the kitchens where Louisa finds herself when she first steps through into 1913.
The staff and the family are portrayed brilliantly. I liked Lou immensely as she’s a very honourable person and I had a real soft spot for Tom Mandeville, the son and heir to the Hill House estate.
Towards the end I started to get a lump in my throat and I found myself crying. I was just so moved by how it turned out and I finished the book feeling sad that it had come to an end.
I enjoy contemporary fiction and generally with time slip novels I prefer the modern day story but in this case it was the historical story that I far preferred as it had more depth, more interesting characters and fascinating surroundings. The time travel element is planned perfectly so that it’s entirely plausible which is not something that is easy to do.
A Time to Change is wonderful and I just loved everything about it. I was completely captivated by it and my biggest regret is that I was on a deadline for the review and I was reading it at the last minute as usual otherwise I would have taken it a lot slower and spent more time absorbing it rather than having to read it very quickly. It’s a book I’m still thinking about and one which I think will stay with me. It’s so beautifully written. I don’t know what Callie Langridge is going to write next but I think there could be mileage in a follow up story (please!).
Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes 5/4
A Time to Change by Callie Langridge
Bombshell Books 9781912175628 pbk Sep 2017
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