Sometimes, if it takes you 10 years to write a book, you just shouldn't. Willis has a writing tick that absolutely annoys me, but in the past, I've been able to mainly ignore it because the storylines have been good. But her annoying writing tick overwhelms any story that was to be had in this book. The tick I'm speaking of is her tendency to talk about every mundane humdrum thing and to catch up every personality-less character that walks in the room concerning these mundane humdrum things. In Doomsday Book (which shares a world and characters with this one), Willis had a character tell everyone that walked in the door that there was no toilet paper and why. In this book, Willis has the main character wandering around looking here and there and yonder for someone and everyone telling him alternate ideas of where this person might be. She has characters ramble off lists of what they should do and alternative lists if the hoped-for scenario doesn't work out. Experiencing this book is like being stuck inside one of those exhausting dreams where you relive and repeat some mundane task you've done over and over for the day. If you have writers block for 10 years, for the love of God, don't write until you have something for your characters to do other than run around looking for things, making lists, and getting lost. Somewhere in all this mess is a time travel story involving World War something or the other.
I hate to admit that I was absolutely unable to finish reading this book. Willis' tedious daily-grind style of writing nearly drove me mad. I couldn't take any more of the characters re-hashing EVERYTHING over and over to everyone and thinking out loud about every step of their day-to-day life. Plus, the characters (as usual) have no discernible personality. Listening to this book in CD in the car would eventually always makes my baby cry (she rarely cries), probably because the reader is so blasted annoying, especially when she does children's dialogue.
I read an interview at the I09 book club with Willis concerning this book. I found it interesting that the interview questions are mainly asking her why she wasted so many words having her characters run around in circles in their brains and in their actions in this book. At least I'm not alone in my analysis. Yeesh.