Out of Time Hardcover – 1 Oct 2001
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At Yale, he wrote essays about time travel embellished with anecdotes of all the changes the world would experience in the future. Stories Annie had told him about like the death of all the American Elm trees. His rival, Walker Walkley, used these essays to convince Mr. Stratton senior that Strat was insane and needed "special care" while he, Walk, would connive to steal both Strat's finacee Harriet's money as well as worming his way into the Stratton fortune through Strat's younger sister, Devonny. (If you didn't like Walker Walkley in the previous novel, don't waste your time reading this book because he's the most central character in this episode.)
Where Both Sides of Time was visually beautiful, Out of Time is not. The reader spends most of his time reading about the abuse of inmates in the asylum where Strat is confined or up at Cold Bath, a tubucular cure cottage where Strat's fiancee, Harriet Ranleigh is incarcerated with tuberculosis. And, the peripheral characters who co-inhabit both places.
With difficulty, and an assist from Devonny Stratton who appears only very briefly in this book, Annie pulls off a daring rescue of Strat from the asylum using the wiles of the Victorian woman she's pretending to be. But, warned of her return to 1898, and her interfering intentions regarding Strat, it isn't long before Walker Walkley is in hot pursuit.
There's little romance in this book. Upon his release from the asylum, Strat insists they visit Harriet in the cure cottage. Reunited there, Harriet happily dies in Strat's arms and he inherits her fortune which she legally changed before Walker Walkley could intervene.
Spoiler alert :
Once his financial future is secured, Strat informs Annie of his decision to leave his family, father, sister and even his mother. He plans to go to Egypt and become an archeologist of sorts. He tells Annie to return to her own time; he has someone else to take to Egypt with him. He doesn't tell Annie who, but he takes Douglass, a mentally impaired man with whom he shared a room at the lunatic asylum, and Katie, a young woman housed in the same asylum because her face was marred by cleft lip and cleft palate.
Walker does catch up with Annie and threatens her with a lifetime of incarceration in the very asylum from which she'd just sprung Strat, but voila, she time travels away just in time.
So ends a choppy, poorly told story sadly lacking all of the charm that made the first so compelling. Save your "time". Pass this one up.