A contemporary woman finds herself immersed in the body of a Ninth
Century runaway after accidentally engaging the cyclic properties of the
fifth dimension. She must find a way to survive and bide her time
until a rescue can be arranged or be lost to the ages.
This review is for the audiobook, narrated by Margie Valine. PLACES YOU WILL BE FROM is a time-slip novel giving us a catalyst that actually makes sense: our protagonist, Ernestine stumbles across an ancient gyroscope in her professor’s closet that transports her back to the ninth century. The professor has been working on a “super string” theory in order to do this very thing, so the body switch doesn’t come out of nowhere. Oh yes, this is more than a mere travel through time; Ernestine finds herself inside the body of Poppa, the woman who is to marry Rollo, future Duke of Normandy. At least our heroine has a clue about what happened; fortunately, Ernestine was a student of history, so at least she had an idea what was going on. Poor Poppa, who finds herself in Ernestine’s body, is terrified beyond measure. And so we have a lively double story here, back and forth between Ernestine/Poppa from the past and Poppa/Ernestine in the present. But this isn’t all: when the professor tries to replicate the transference, he only succeeds partly. Poppa goes back, but poor Ernestine is only brought forward three hundred years, to invade the body of the future Genghis Khan’s wife, who again takes her place in the future. And a third time, Ernestine finds herself the wife of Peter the Great. At least she’s moving in the right direction! After the third transference, there is a delay while the slightly damaged gyroscope gets repaired; our third transplanted woman, Marta, is better equipped to deal with modern times, and she spends most of her time in the company of the solicitous Arnold, who bears a strong resemblance to her beloved Peter. This mutual attraction certainly gives Arnold pause; is he falling in love with Marta, or Ernestine?
Throughout, the author’s historical research shines, and we learn the customs of the time and country along with our heroine. At the same time, Ernestine has some deep philosophical questions that need answering: why was she associated with these famous, influential women? Was this a case of reincarnation? Why did she experience love for these dangerous yet caring strangers? Was Arnold a critical piece of the puzzle? This is a very lively expedition through time, and we will need to listen to part two before we get her answers.
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/179449068X