What happens when you drop a poor stone mason from the plague-ridden 1340's into the London Blitz in 1941? (He almost gets hit by a bus, for one thing.) Novelist/historian Ian Mortimer takes a great concept - moving a character through time in daily 99-year increments - and pulls it all off with an expert historian's eye for detail and a true sense of time & place. When faced with spending their last days riddled with the Plague, brothers John and William are given an inexplicable choice: head home to die or spend each of their remaining six days 99 years after the last one, searching for a way to save their souls. This could have gone way off track, but it never felt contrived or forced, but rather steeped in reality and genuine historical reference, leaving the reader to experience each new year with same the wide-eyed wonder that John has each time he wakes up in a new century. -sm
With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and suffer in the afterlife. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries - living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last.
John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them in further unexpected ways. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived.
As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment, and war. But their time is running out--can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?