In the Nick of Time

Robert Swindells



Jan 2007

We’re in the midst of wonders’

Taking a trip to Cold Tarn, Charlotte and her friend Pip discover for the first time a regular concrete base. It is whilst exploring this that the narrative splits, torn in half, as Charlie is transported from the present into the 1950s.
The reader becomes caught in a dialectic between these two ages, in the 1950s struggling to understand just what has happened to Charlie and what might allow her return to the future and to witness first-hand the very real anxiety and grief that family and friends suffer during her absence in the present.
Parallel narratives facilitate consideration into the types of social progress that have been attained across the ages, particularly with regard to standard of living and general health. In an age of increasingly prescriptive educational legislation, it is, however, hard not to envy the classroom of the 1950s with no walls, a boundary-less expanse from which children’s education could take small steps or giant leaps regardless of direction.
Robert Swindells plants the seed for a twist in this tale which creates a lasting and highly poignant ending. The strength of friendships, love and care are depicted clearly here and make for a lasting and moving finale.

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