I found this book through some of my Outlander pals, and it sounded like an interesting time travel romance. What history nerd doesn't like a good time travel romance, right? Imagine my surprise when I started reading only to find that part of the book is set in my hometown of Fredericksburg, VA, even more so when the main character's mother lives a "few miles up the Rapphannock" on what is probably the same road I grew up on. So, my review might be slightly biased from familiarity alone.
I will say that it's clear that Truscott knows the town. Having lived there almost all of my life, I can attest that no matter how big it seems to get Fredericksburg is still a small town. She does a great job of capturing that small town, feel for a family that has generations of history there. When she was describing some of the characters, I could easily have seen them walking down Caroline Street.
Location aside, I really enjoyed this book. I found that I had a hard time putting it down. Right from the start we learn about some of Kathy Lee's back story and the challenges that she faces, and they are many. Her mother for one thing has an interesting history, and her husband is no prize. She had given up on her marriage, but is reluctant to admit it to anyone but herself. The action really begins when she inherits a house in Pennsylvania from an uncle she hasn't seen in ages. It offers the perfect opportunity for her to step away and clear her head so that she can deal with the breakup of her marriage.
As she's cleaning up the house she discovers a Revolutionary War Era British officer in her garden shed. Neither one of them really understands how he got there, and they spend the rest of the book working together to figure out how to get him back. Add to that the potential danger of another time traveler and someone who wants very badly to get his hands on Kathy Lee's new house and you've got the potential for lots of action and tension. Of course, there is also plenty of tension between Kathy Lee and Robert the dashing officer.
The key characters have rich back stories and stay true to who they are throughout the book. It's the complexity of the characters and the situations they are in that make this book work. They have more to puzzle over than the figuring out how Robert got into the woodshed. Kathy Lee has to figure out how to end her marriage and what she and her children will do once that is done. Robert has his own emotional baggage to deal with on top of being stuck in the twenty-first century. The story is much richer for all of this complexity. The action does slow down a little in the middle, but when it picks up it really moves. It is a romance after all, so the ending is a little predictable, but getting there is a lot of fun.
Out of Time is also the first of a series. The next book, In the Nick came out last April. I look forward to reading that one too.