#blogblitz – A Time to Change by Callie Langridge @CLangridgeWrite @bombshellpub #bookreview
I’m delighted to be a part of the blog blitz for A Time to Change, Callie Langridge’s debut novel. And what a debut it is! It’s a truly amazing read. I’d like to thank Sarah Hardy and Bombshell Books for the review copy and the place on the blog blitz.
So here’s what the book is all about:
“I would rather love passionately for an hour than benignly for a lifetime.”
In a house full of history and secrets, the past will not stay where it belongs…
Lou has always loved Hill House, the derelict manor on the abandoned land near her home. As a child, the tragic history of its owners, the Mandevilles, inspired her dream to become a history teacher. But in her late twenties, and working in a shop to pay off student debts, life is passing her by.
That changes when a family disaster sends Lou’s life into a downward spiral and she seeks comfort in the ruined corridors of Hill House. The house transforms around her and Lou is transported back to Christmas 1913. Convinced she has been in an accident and is in a coma, Lou immerses herself in her Edwardian dream. With the Mandevilles oblivious to her true identity, Lou becomes their houseguest and befriends the eldest son, Captain Thomas Mandeville, a man she knows is destined to die in the First World War.
Lou feels more at home in the past than the present and when she realises the experience is real she sets out to do everything in her power to save her new friends.
Lou passes between 1913 and 2013, unearthing plots of murder and blackmail, which she must stop no matter the cost.
On her quest to save the Mandevilles by saving Thomas, Lou will face the hardest decision of her life. She will learn that love cannot be separated by a century.
A Time to Change appealed to me the minute I read the blurb. I love time slip novels and I love time travel and this is the perfect mixture of both of those.
Louisa Arnold suffers a tragedy in her life in 2013 and finds herself wandering around Hill House, the manor house near to the housing estate where she lives. It’s fallen into disrepair due to various family problems but Lou remembers it as somewhere she played as a child.
In a perfect set of circumstances, Lou manages to do something that I dream of being able to do. She literally steps back in time. She becomes a house guest of the Mandeville family 100 years earlier. It’s a crucial time in history as World War 1 is on the horizon.
How wonderful it would be to be able to experience firsthand life in the past. But it’s not that easy for Lou. She knows she must try and do all she can to save the family from ruin and the house from becoming what it is in her time: an empty shell.
I absolutely adored this book. It’s so atmospheric. I could imagine exactly how the house looked, from the magnificent ballroom with its beautiful chandeliers to the kitchens where Louisa finds herself when she first steps through into 1913.
The staff and the family are portrayed brilliantly. I liked Lou immensely as she’s a very honourable person and I had a real soft spot for Tom Mandeville, the son and heir to the Hill House estate.
Towards the end I started to get a lump in my throat and I found myself crying. I was just so moved by how it turned out and I finished the book feeling sad that it had come to an end.
I enjoy contemporary fiction and generally with time slip novels I prefer the modern day story but in this case it was the historical story that I far preferred as it had more depth, more interesting characters and fascinating surroundings. The time travel element is planned perfectly so that it’s entirely plausible which is not something that is easy to do.
A Time to Change is wonderful and I just loved everything about it. I was completely captivated by it and my biggest regret is that I was on a deadline for the review and I was reading it at the last minute as usual otherwise I would have taken it a lot slower and spent more time absorbing it rather than having to read it very quickly. It’s a book I’m still thinking about and one which I think will stay with me. It’s so beautifully written. I don’t know what Callie Langridge is going to write next but I think there could be mileage in a follow up story (please!).
Lots of other fab blogs have taken part in the blog blitz so why not go and read some of the other reviews of this lovely book.
Callie was born and brought up in Berkshire. After a brief teenage spell in the depths of Lancashire, she moved back to London.
Having left school at 16, she studied drama before embarking on a career in marketing. This saw her work in music marketing in the heady days of Britpop in the nineties. She unleashed her creativity in the design of window displays and marketing campaigns for the leading music retailer. More recently she has followed her passion for social history and currently works in marketing for a national historical institution, promoting projects and running events.
On hitting her thirtieth birthday, she decided finally to take her A levels and gained A’s in English Literature and Language, and Film Studies – not bad when working full time! – and this spurred her on to take the first of many creative writing course. A few years later and she has had a number of short stories published and plays performed at theatres and venues across London.
Callie lives in London with her long-term partner and an ever-growing collection of antique curiosities.