Oh, dear. Every time I see the title of this book it makes me feel anxious. I am almost ashamed to say this in public, but I will be brave: I didn't lOh, dear. Every time I see the title of this book it makes me feel anxious. I am almost ashamed to say this in public, but I will be brave: I didn't like it.
I know. Everyone loves it and I can't explain why I don't. Normally I love all the elements that make up this book: time travel, romance, the 19th century. Just to be sure about it I have read it twice over the years; once in traditional book format and once as an audio book. *sigh* It makes me feel defective but there you are. I didn't like it.
The only reason I'm really posting this review is in case there is another person out there who doesn't like it and would be comforted to know that they aren't alone. Maybe we can start a club?...more
On her first day at boarding school Charlotte Makepeace is shown to the room she will be sharing with four other girls. The room has five black iron bOn her first day at boarding school Charlotte Makepeace is shown to the room she will be sharing with four other girls. The room has five black iron bedsteads, all identical except for the one Charlotte chooses, which isn't on casters like the others, but has "little wheels with ornamented spokes".
After an ordinary, if stressful, first day Charlotte falls asleep in her iron bedstead, but awakens in what seems to be a different world. Somehow in the night she has changed places with Clare Moby, a student at the same school forty years before. Sleeping in the iron bed has somehow sent her back in time. For a few weeks Charlotte and Clare trade places on a nightly basis, leaving notes for each other as they alternate spending their days in 1918 and 1958. Then a mistake in timing leaves Charlotte seemingly trapped in 1918. Will she have to live the rest of her life there? Is that, in fact, something that she's already done?
This may be a book written for children, but it is not a "childish" book. I wish I had found this book when I was a kid because I'm quite certain it would have turned into one of my favorites. ...more
Sometimes a book comes along that seemingly has all the elements of an instant favorite, in the case of The Kingdom of Ohio the elements are: time-traSometimes a book comes along that seemingly has all the elements of an instant favorite, in the case of The Kingdom of Ohio the elements are: time-travel, Victorian-era New York City, a very sweet romance and - at least for me - footnotes. (I am strangely in love with fiction books that use footnotes. Terry Pratchett is my hero).
Nevertheless, despite the presence of some very fine footnotes and the author's ability to describe turn of the century NYC in an enjoyably tangible way, this book failed to really hit home with me. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I would have thought. I think what dropped the book from 4 to 3 stars in my view was the strictly functional nature of the "present day" storyline. While the historical time frame is fleshed out and feels real in many ways, events in the present are narrated in a very perfunctory fashion and it felt as if the historical story were a painting set in the unfinished wood frame of the present day events.
Even so, I have Matthew Flaming on my list of authors to watch and I plan to keep an eye out for his next book. ...more