Partial Book Description:
An old house + A new computer program =The travel opportunity of a lifetime
…to another century.
Abby Thomas is spending the summer in a run-down old house
with a bratty pre-teen named Merrideth she is supposed to tutor. Not a dream
job. But it does come with perks.
There’s John Roberts, a devastatingly attractive neighbor
who is almost too wonderful to be real.
And there’s the new computer program Beautiful Houses–also too amazing to be real. No one knows how it
works, but with it she can rewind and fast-forward the lives of all the people
who ever lived in the house, including Charlotte Miles.
Cleverly written historical time travel young adult novel.
Though a young adult novel, Heal writes so well that adults will also enjoy the journey Abby takes as a in-home tutor for her young charge, Meredith, a product of bitter divorce and guilt-giving parents. Slowly we see the relationship unfold and the two bond over a computer program, Beautiful Houses. What this program does, is show a way of life lived by one woman a generation ago.
Heal does a great job describing time and place, with Abe Lincoln right in the middle. She describes Abby’s faith but doesn’t beat us over the head with it as other faith writers tend to do. We see the blowback of children of divorce, the blossoming of friendship and a potential relationship. Very well executed by the author.
I enjoyed the pace of the novel itself, nothing overlooked and the descriptions of the homes, neighborhood, neighbors as well as the town of a time gone by. That in itself is worth the read. I give 5 stars.