the next good book

The Ministry of Time

By Kaliane Bradley

9/10
(9/10)

332 pages

What’s it about?

This story takes place in the near future in London.  A civil servant, from the languages department, is assigned to a top secret project involving time travel.  She will serve as a “bridge” for an “expat” from the past.  Her duties will include living with, assisting, monitoring, and helping the expat to acclimate to the present day.  Her expat is known as “1847” and was previously known as Commander Graham Gore on John Franklin’s Arctic expedition of 1845.  Their year together is memorable.

What did it make me think about?

Time-travel, colonialism, power dynamics, and the improbability of love.

Should I read it?

Well this is a romance, spy thriller, and fantasy all rolled into one.  More than that- this a smart book with lots to think about.  So many clever observations in this book, “Gore couldn’t understand the simultaneity of stacks of meat in supermarkets and our anxiety around hunting.” or “People liked him and so they imagined he agreed with them- all likable people know to be a flattering mirror-…”  I would highly recommend this book to most any reader. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a fun fantasy-romance romp though- I found myself re-reading paragraphs just so I didn’t miss anything.  “You can’t trauma-proof life, and you can’t hurt-proof your relationships.  You have to accept you will cause harm to yourself and others. But you can also fuck up, really badly, and not learn anything from it except you fucked up.  It’s the same with oppression.  You don’t gain any special knowledge from being marginalized. But you do gain something by stepping outside your hurt and examining the scaffolding of your oppression.”   Great book and I will look forward to her next novel!

Quote-

“He was an anachronism, a puzzle, a piss-take, a problem but he was, above all things, a charming man.  In every century, they make themselves at home.”

What’s it about?

This story takes place in the near future in London.  A civil servant, from the languages department, is assigned to a top secret project involving time travel.  She will serve as a “bridge” for an “expat” from the past.  Her duties will include living with, assisting, monitoring, and helping the expat to acclimate to the present day.  Her expat is known as “1847” and was previously known as Commander Graham Gore on John Franklin’s Arctic expedition of 1845.  Their year together is memorable.

What did it make me think about?

Time-travel, colonialism, power dynamics, and the improbability of love.

Should I read it?

Well this is a romance, spy thriller, and fantasy all rolled into one.  More than that- this a smart book with lots to think about.  So many clever observations in this book, “Gore couldn’t understand the simultaneity of stacks of meat in supermarkets and our anxiety around hunting.” or “People liked him and so they imagined he agreed with them- all likable people know to be a flattering mirror-…”  I would highly recommend this book to most any reader. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a fun fantasy-romance romp though- I found myself re-reading paragraphs just so I didn’t miss anything.  “You can’t trauma-proof life, and you can’t hurt-proof your relationships.  You have to accept you will cause harm to yourself and others. But you can also fuck up, really badly, and not learn anything from it except you fucked up.  It’s the same with oppression.  You don’t gain any special knowledge from being marginalized. But you do gain something by stepping outside your hurt and examining the scaffolding of your oppression.”   Great book and I will look forward to her next novel!

Quote-

“He was an anachronism, a puzzle, a piss-take, a problem but he was, above all things, a charming man.  In every century, they make themselves at home.”

Related books: