Title: In This Moment
Author: Gabrielle Meyer
Series: Timeless, book 2
Major Themes: Historical, Washington D.C., US Civil War, Pearl Harbor, 9/11
Synopsis: Maggie has inherited a unique gift from her parents—to live in 1861, 1941, and 2001 simultaneously; but when her 21st birthday rolls around, she has to choose which life she will choose and which two she will forfeit forever.
I remember the day I finished the first book in this series, and how I wanted to tell anyone who had a bent toward historical fiction to read that book. I also remember wondering how I could possibly wait an entire year for In This Moment to be released! Usually, while I enjoy different series, I’m content to wait for whenever the next book will come available—but I enjoyed that one so much I wasn’t sure if I could wait. Well, I did, and I’m glad now to have had an entire year to anticipate being able to get my hands on this story. The anticipation was half the fun, but the other half was being able to read it—and, thankfully, I was not disappointed!
Maggie has been born with a unique gift: Unlike her time-crossing parents, who each lived in two different time periods until they were forced to choose one to keep for the rest of their lives, she has been born into three different time periods, which means that now, at age 20, she lives in 1861, 1941, where her time-crossing parents are, and 2001. In each path, she has family and friends, and as time ticks down toward her 21st birthday, she has to decide which one she will choose—and which two she will forfeit forever.
In 1861, as the daughter of a notable US senator, Maggie is part of high society—attending dinners put on by Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln in the White House and trying to keep up with all the other parties and dances that happen regularly. Her main struggle is that she knows that the Civil War is developing—since she learned US history in her later paths—but she can’t let on to a soul that she knows. In 1941, she knows the US is on the cusp of entering World War II, but despite her trepidation over heading to Pearl Harbor, she’s thankful to be able to work as a nurse alongside her sister, Anna. In 2001, Maggie is pursuing what she wishes she could do in her two other paths—becoming a doctor and working towards becoming a surgeon, an incredibly fulfilling role. Each path calls to her simultaneously. In 1861, her advanced medical knowledge could be a huge asset as the Civil War drags on; in 1941, her sister and nation need her as they face Pearl Harbor and beyond; and in 2001, she can learn more and do more for people than she could in almost any other time.
I loved the way Gabrielle Meyer set In This Moment up and how she made it all work. This book—and, to be fair, the entire series—would take a huge amount of world-building, research, and creativity to pull together, and she does it admirably well. As I read the story, I had several questions like, “How would this scenario work?”, and every time, somewhere in there, she answered the question. If time-crossing was possible, Meyer gives a fairly plausible explanation for how it might work, and unlike some books I’ve read, I never felt like I was jerked out of the story because I came across something that didn’t fit that world.
I also loved the way Meyer brought history to life! When I found out what timelines she’d chosen, I wondered how in the world she’d be able to give justice not only to the start of the Civil War, but also the start of World War II for the US and 9/11, all in the same book. Surely one would have to give so another time could shine? But no. She did her research, and she did it well, and no matter what chapter I was in, I felt immersed in that time (well, except for the moments when I knew Something Big was about to happen in history in an upcoming chapter…). It was brilliant.
If you enjoy historical fiction with a good dash of sweet romance and a strong faith element, In This Moment could quite possibly be an excellent choice for you. I’m eagerly anticipating getting my brother to read this story, so we can discuss the nuances together. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released, and find out what happens next!
I was given a complimentary copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: Swearing an oath to the Constitution is mentioned in ch. 7. “What the devil” is used in ch. 13. There is lying in ch. 4 and 10, and part-way through the story, a character decides to disobey her father before later convincing him that she should be allowed to do what she wants. There is a description of a wound in ch. 4. In ch. 10, there is a description of how a man was killed and of a bad wound. The Battle of Bull Run is described in ch. 13, where men are killed and several people are almost hit. 9/11 is described in ch. 21, with a character badly burned. Several injuries are mentioned in ch. 27. In ch. 28, a character finds out someone was killed. The bombing of Pearl Harbor, and a few injuries resulting from it, are described in ch. 31. Unmarried characters touch in nearly every chapter. There are kisses in ch. 15 (a slightly inappropriate setting), 25, and 34. Characters attend dances several times. Throughout the latter part of the book, the main character frequently thinks about how she’d like to be kissed by a man. In ch. 10, there is a mention of a woman who “dallied” with several married men (the fact that she was having an affair is mentioned again in ch. 22). In ch. 26, there is a brief discussion about someone’s relative who was having an affair. A character is commissioned as a colonel in ch. 24, and believes that’s God’s calling for him. In the epilogue, a woman’s labor and delivery are described.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults