I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review this book. Just from the basic information I had about it, I knew it would make an interesting story.
Abby is doing tutoring for her college class, and is spending the summer helping Pat by teaching her daughter Merrideth in order to get her caught up for the next year. Abby is determined this will be an easy task, but is in for a surprise when she meets Merrideth.
Merrideth is 11 years old and has retreated into herself due to her parents divorce and her mom's lack of interest and time. Pat always seems to have a work related situation which takes her away from her daughter even when she is really needed. When Abby arrives, Merrideth tries her best to make the situation as difficult as it can be. She has no desire to do studies. She prefers TV, computer and eating.
One day while looking out the window they see a boy on the train tracks and a train coming quickly. They rush out to get him, and from then on the summer takes an interesting turn. Although it isn't the end of Merrideth's stubbornness, she does begin to listen to Abby and they begin to form a friendship.
Weird things are going on at the house. When they explore the attic in search of some excitement, they find a map of the town the way it was 100 years ago. They find themselves walking and talking to someone who knows some of the history. When Merrideth finds a beautiful homes site on her computer, they discover the house they are in. Upon further looking, it appears that somehow the screen is a way to look into the past. Abby and Merrideth call it "time-surfing".
They find themselves in Charlotte's life in the year 1854. Of course Charlotte can't see them, but they can see through her eyes and feel her joy and pain. They follow her life, sometimes in fast forward, and learn that she lived in Merrideth's current home, and that Abraham Lincoln had stayed in the home.
They see the ups and down's of history through Charlotte's eyes. They learn about the underground railroad and circumstances that led to that point.
By watching history before their eyes and experiencing it, Abby is able to teach Merrideth some important truths. She teaches her about God's love and how God has a plan for everyone. He can make good out of any situation. Merrideth learns that God loves her and has a purpose for her life.
This was an amazing story. There are some history truth's to learn and it provides a unique way to show God's purpose and love for people. I enjoyed how the story was put together. I had a hard time pulling myself away! I read the entire story in 2 days. If I didn't have other things to do, I probably would have read it in one sitting! I loved the relationship between Abby and Merrideth. You can really see the friendship that grows and how Merrideth finds a way to trust Abby and rely on her the way she wishes she could rely on her mom. I think this was an important aspect of the story.
I can't wait to read Deborah Heal's other books. They are on my to read list for sure!
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