There are some places on earth where you wouldn't immediately know that you were slipping into the past. One such place is Colonial Williamsburg where the past is alive and well. But the past will recognize your family in their Mickey Mouse rain ponchos trying to buy lemonade with worthless currency as not being from around there (or from around then). Fortunately, you can just claim that you're from the exotic and mysterious land of California, and all will be well. Such is the case for David who suddenly finds himself stuck in the middle of the American Revolution with his wife and 2 young daughters.
It's not often that you find a time travel tale featuring little girls playing Barbie dolls with Thomas Jefferson. I'd venture to say you've never read such a tale before. The author does an amazing job of making the family's time travel adventures realistic whether they're failing at riding a horse or wishing for a hot shower. You might even find yourself looking for the town's bakery online, hoping to find that it's a real place. I also got the idea that the author's real-life family probably resembles the family in the book (and Paul says that it very much does).
At the heart of the story is a mission that is bequeathed to the family to help end slavery before the country becomes a nation. This is no easy task, and the steps that the family make to this end create ripples in time that seem to hurtle them toward disaster. Is it possible for them to make the changes that they've been asked to make? If so, will the results be better?
As I read, I found myself re-analyzing the faults of the creation of our government. As a child, I was taught that we had the best government system in the world and that it had no shortcomings. Ah, the faith of a child. Even as a college student, I thought [b:The Federalist Papers|110331|The Federalist Papers|Alexander Hamilton|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327865541s/110331.jpg|707252] was the best thing since sliced bread. Some of the ideas are good, but I think we could have done better. In analyzing it from the stance of what could have been done better, it seems that giving so much power to the states to do their own thing was a bad idea. Rights of every group from women to slaves to homosexuals have been undermined at the state level rather than the national level. Of course, the founders of this country were trying to eradicate the faults they found in England's unitary government by swinging over to a federal system of government. But in everything from education to human rights, it has failed us. But I'm digressing completely from the book itself as the author has his own ideas on how to solve the slavery problem.
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I did start skimming toward the end as we get into the thick of Revolutionary war battles. Battle scenes and chase scenes in books or movies just aren't my thing unless they're done in a unique way or are strongly tied to the storyline (like earlier in the novel). And I have to say that I was a tad bit disappointed at the ending because I wanted to see the final results of all the ripples of change that the family had made in time. Perhaps the idea was to leave the book open for a sequel which would be interesting indeed.