This was a good book that I would have liked an abridged copy of. I read Doomsday Book last year for #CannonBookClub, but this was a slightly different flavor, although set in the same universe of Oxford using time travel for history-studying purposes.
Through a series of convolutions, Ned ends up in the Victorian era (not his specialty) trying to help fix a timeline incongruity. He’s working with a classmate, Verity Kindle (excellent name), who has already been back and forth to the era multiple times. He also gets involved with a love-addled doofus and a professor so absent-minded it borders on ridiculous.
Ned and Verity must save the timeline, fix the incongruities their presence has caused, and make it back to their present with a previously-lost-in-time MacGuffin. It all sounds pretty straightforward, but Willis goes into a ton of sidebars to show off her researching skills, inundating the reader with historical references and poetry on every page. It’s a lot to take, and gets a little repetitive.
The ending was great, and seeing how all the threads finally (finally!) came together was worth the read. However, I’m pretty sure I’ve now given Connie Willis a fair shake, and will not bother reading any more of hers (I read four – disliked two, liked two well enough).