Book review: Tollesbury Time Forever

Tollesbury Time ForeverTollesbury Time Forever by Stuart Ayris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oooo, ummmm, where to start……..

This is the first free Kindle book I have “bought”. I read a lot of positive reviews on the UK Amazon Kindle Forum on Goodreads, so I thought it would be worth a go despite wondering whether a free book would actually be much cop.

The amazon description implies that this is the story of a man who accidentally goes back in time and has to find a way back to the present so I listed it under the “supernatural” category on my Kindle. WRONG!!

It is difficult to write a review without a spoiler. Unfortunately I read another review before reading the book which said what was happening with the main character Simon before it is revealed about halfway through the book. I don’t know if reading it with this knowledge ruined the revelation or not. So if you don’t want to know, don’t read any further!!!

So Simon is an unemployed fifty year old heavy drinker with a wife and son he hasn’t seen for over 20 years. Living in a small village he spends time getting drunk in the pub or at home and one evening decides to commit suicide by drowning himself in the salt marshes. When he comes round he is in the village square but it is now 1836. He meets all manner of strange characters and doesn’t know which ones actually want to help him or not. He doesn’t really seem to want to know how he got there or how to get home, until he meets a group of children who tell him fables and poems and he realises he wants his old life back and to see his son again.

It transpires that Simon has not time travelled at all but is a schizophrenic who has not been taking his medication and all the time he has been in 1836 he is actually in a psychiatric ward in a manic state. So this is a book about mental health issues, not time travel at all.

There are some moral issues raised about what is “real” life and is it right to drug people who are living with mental illness. I also felt there was almost an element of “self help” in part of the book as Simon starts to become more lucid and decide what he wants and how he will achieve it.

If the book description had mentioned that this was a book dealing with mental illness I would probably not have read it, but I am glad I did because it is very well written for a first novel. And the fact that it was free has absolutely no bearing on the quality. I have given it 4 stars because there were quite a few typos and the line break between each paragraph kept making me think it was a scene change when it wasn’t. But those are just editing issues.

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