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Connie Willis labored five years on this story of a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion. The book, which won Hugo and Nebula Awards, draws upon Willis' understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.
This new book by Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning author Willis ( Lincoln's Dreams ) is an intelligent and satisfying blend of classic science fiction and historical reconstruction. Kivrin, a history student at Oxford in 2048, travels back in time to a 14th-century English village, despite a host of misgivings on the part of her unofficial tutor. When the technician responsible for the procedure falls prey to a 21st-century epidemic, he accidentally sends Kivrin back not to 1320 but to 1348--right into the path of the Black Death. Unaware at first of the error, Kivrin becomes deeply involved in the life of the family that takes her in. But before long she learns the truth and comes face to face with the horrible, unending suffering of the plague that would wipe out half the population of Europe. Meanwhile, back in the future, modern science shows itself infinitely superior in its response to epidemics, but human nature evidences no similar evolution, and scapegoating is still alive and well in a campaign against "infected foreigners."p. 204 This book finds villains and heroes in all ages, and love, too, which Kivrin hears in the revealing and quietly touching deathbed confession of a village priest.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fascinating book. I couldn't put it down. But then, am very fond of time travel genre!Published 13 months ago by Kimberly Evans
A really exciting read and as a historian I loved it. I have read many time travel books but never with historians as the main characters. I can't wait to start on the next onePublished 16 months ago by goodpepper
This book is by turns powerful, sad and silly. The time travel story taking place in the near future is a little fussy and silly; the time travel story in the medieval past feels... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Richard Schwindt
Those expecting a predictable SF story may be puzzled by this novel. While ostensibly using a SF framework, this book captures the human condition as well as any work in the... Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2011 by lexie2
It's an interesting concept, but there's not really anything there. The characters are uninteresting placeholders, the plot *incredibly* slow, and several key story components are... Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2011 by C. Samuelsson
The time is the mid-twenty-first century, and the development of time travel has changed history from a scholarly discipline to one involving direct observation. Read morePublished on June 7 2008 by Greg Slade
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The premise, in which students travel in time to learn about history, is unique and extremely well handled by Willis. Read morePublished on March 20 2005 by NorthVan Dave