Long before the advent of modern science fiction, there are a few stories which can be found throughout the world which include the element of time travel. In these earliest of stories, any such time travel, or mysterious passage of time, is the result of some divine intervention. Modern literature is full of time travel stories, both forward and backwards through time, by means of several methods. Divine intervention and magic objects or portals are prominent means in many stories. H.G. Wells famously introduced machines built on science into the mix.
Books with time travel have landed in virtually every genre, not just science fiction. Many famous modern authors have jumped into the time travel game; Micheal Criton, Dean Koontz, Audrey Niffenergger, and others. Even pop culture shares a passion for time travel as the second longest running fictional television show in history, Dr. Who [U.K.] enters its 50th year.
In 2012, Katie Andrews Potter added her own twist to time travel lore with her book Going Over Home. Instead of trying to rewrite a synopsis of the book, I will let the back cover speak for itself:
“Maddox’s life changed the day she read her real birthdate: May 17, 1820. Not 1990, like she’d been told all along. Sure, there had been clues: her mother’s old-fashioned style, the fact that her parents refuse to talk about her grandparents, but she never could have guessed they were actually from the past. And if that wasn’t enough, now she has to go back in time to live for good. She has descendants living now, and if she doesn’t go back their lives will never be.
Once she figures out how to go back in time, she struggles with the impending change her life is about to take, and her relationship with shy, unassuming Henry Yancey: the man she is supposed to marry. But if the decision to go back isn’t hard enough, she soon finds out there is someone who will stop at nothing to keep her from going back, and he’s running out of time. Will Maddie fall for Henry, and will she be able to make it back in time before the portal closes?”
Written in first person, this book, in many ways, reads like a cross between a family history and a diary. While the style is not new, its clear the author has an affinity for genealogy. Her focus is on not just the protagonist, Maddox, but on her family. Read how modern conveniences disrupt a life they came from, and its potential to disrupt the past to which Maddox must return. These are problems families face without time travel. If I had to place this book into a convenient genre, I would call it an historical fiction. However, with the book’s focus so solid on its characters, and less on the world around them, I might suggest a new genre, family historical fiction, or perhaps, genealogical fiction.
Genealogists looking for a break form their labors, or a little entertainment, should consider picking up a copy of Going Over Home. The publishing world as it stands makes it difficult for new authors to see their books on the racks at major retailers. This does not mean, however, that books like this don’t deserve to be there. Potter’s book is well written and enjoyable. The book is great for teens as well, who can relate to characters as they develop and grow.
About the Author:
Katie Andrews Potter grew up in Carmel, Indiana and at an early age grew interested in her family history. She would (and still does) spend hours upon hours looking through old books and records searching for one more branch to her family tree. Katie has always enjoyed writing and has piles of old spiral-bound notebooks filled with stories. It was on one trip to an old cemetery in Brown County, Indiana in 2009 when the storyline for Going over Home popped in her head. What if you found your own name on a headstone? What would it be like to meet your ancestors? From that day on the story took a hold in her mind until it was fully formed.
Katie lives in Carmel (for now – she and her family are rehabbing a house on the near eastside of Indianapolis) with her husband, Ben and their daughter Eliana. She has her degree in Elementary Education and is currently working with people with disabilities. They also have a zoo of pets – 3 dogs, 3 cats, and 6 fish.
Grab a copy of Going Over Home from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $7.99.