Bookworm In Your Ear: Playful With History
Here are two novels that in different ways, take and bend the concept of Time. Carr goes straight out historical fiction that's an exhilarating read; while Mastai uses Time Travel as a backdrop to pose more existential/philosophical questions.
The Devils of Cardona by Matthew Carr
With this novel, Carr takes the extensive research and knowledge he has accumulated about 16th century Spain, the Inquisition, and the subjugation of Moors living in the Iberian peninsula, and turned them into an adventure novel. A cracking page-turner, the novel kicks off with a much-hated local priest in the mountain town of Cardona being ritually murdered in his own church. When Judge Mendoza is sent to investigate, what he uncovers is a deep conspiracy that has as much to do with power and land-grabbing as it has to do with religion and the uneasy truce that exists between Christians and Moriscos in these towns high in the Pyrenees. Filled with vivid characters, evil plotting, and all what we would expect from a feudal society, this is one exhilarating historical read.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
A wonderful time travel story about Love, Loss and Life, this novel of Mastai could have gone simply for the route of searching for a better life; but does one better by questioning how we define 'better'? In Tom Barren's 2016 which opens the novel, there's no war, no poverty, and life seems so much better. But in this world, Tom has lost the girl of his dreams. Traveling to an alternative 2016 which is ever so familiar to us, he encounters someone who could just be the love of his life. Which world does he now choose to stay in? It's a humor and heart-filled romantic time adventure that leaves us second-guessing and rooting for our protagonist. There are travels to the past, and moments that we would call life-defining, but all written with warmth and as compassionate comedy.