Monday 22 April 2013

A Key to Time

A Key to Time by Antoinette Conolly (self published by Antoinette Conolly)
PB RRP $16 plus $4 p&h
ISBN 9780977586035
Reviewed by Julie Sutton

A Key in Time begins with Mr and Mrs Kelly at the hospital bedside of their daughter Bethany, who has been burnt in a fire. We are then taken through the story of how Bethany has ended up in hospital.

When nine-year-old Bethany buys a charm bracelet at a local market, and later discovers a music box in the summer house, she finds that the key charm fits the clock on the music box. But this is no ordinary music box; it is a time travel machine and Bethany travels through time, at first back and then forwards. Central to the story is the big house Bethany and her family have recently moved to. She meets previous and future inhabitants of the house in all its incarnations including a hospital, a school, a farm and back to the time where no house stood.

Along the way she picks up some fellow time travellers, Rose from the 1950s and William from the 1920s. The children have difficulty in working the music box and fear that they will never return to their respective times. That is until they find themselves in 2100 and they meet Raygen who finds out how the clock works and the best way for the children to find their way home. William, an orphan, does not desire to return home and opts for 1950, becoming part of Rose’s family. When Bethaany returns to 2012, she finds herself in a fire. Bethany recovers from her burns and discovers through old newspaper reports that Rose and William end up in England.

The children’s reactions to the technology of different eras are interesting. Despite their youth, they are very knowledgeable and react in a mature fashion. Their dilemmas are solved quickly and easily and at no stage was it felt that the children were in any real danger in whatever situation they found themselves. A Key to Time is for younger readers. 

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