The Ministry of Time
by Kaliane Bradley
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Pub Date 07 May 2024 | Archive Date 07 May 2024
Avid Reader Press, Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.
She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machines,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But with an appetite for discovery, a seven-a-day cigarette habit, and the support of a charming and chaotic cast of fellow expats, he soon adjusts.
Over the next year, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a horrifically uncomfortable roommate dynamic, evolves into something much deeper. By the time the true shape of the Ministry’s project comes to light, the bridge has fallen haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences she never could have imagined. Forced to confront the choices that brought them together, the bridge must finally reckon with how—and whether she believes—what she does next can change the future.
An exquisitely original and feverishly fun fusion of genres and ideas, The Ministry of Time asks: What does it mean to defy history, when history is living in your house? Kaliane Bradley’s answer is a blazing, unforgettable testament to what we owe each other in a changing world.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 132 members
Wow. It’s hard to describe how amazing this book is. I’ll read just about anything relating to time travel, but this story satisfies on so many levels. It has mystery, romance, espionage, humor and history. I honestly only put it down once and that was because it was Thanksgiving and I was in charge of the Mac and Cheese. So, so good. Can’t wait to see what else Kaliane Bradley writes in the future. I’m a fan.
The Ministry of Time is an incredible debut that I'm glad I read, especially since it's out of my comfort zone. This novel is a mashup of so many genres- time travel sci-fi, romcom, office hijinks, and spy mystery.
It's hard to sum up the engaging plot that Kaliane Bradley has created but I'll give it a try. Basically, a handful of "expats" have been saved from their original timeline and brought to live in modern day London. Each time traveler has an assigned "bridge"- a civil servant who must live with them and help them acclimate to the modern era. The focus on is on one particular bridge and her expat, Commander Gore, a Navy man from the 1800s. As their relationship grows from something strictly professional into something more, significant secrets and dangers come to light.
This book had me laughing out loud and pining, sighing in agreement about how our pasts impact our present and future, and nodding in awe at the statements Bradley is able to make about systemic issues that permeate our culture now despite the passage of hundreds of years (and sometimes more). I don't say this often or lightly, I think this book has something to offer almost any reader and I strongly encourage you to give it a read.
This is a first class time travel/romantic suspense/spy thriller novel; which centres on the relationship between swoon-worthy Graham, who has been plucked from 1847 by the Government and forced to exist in modern day England and his handler. This is a beautifully written book, with an unusually advanced vocabulary - I usually only have to look up untranslated foreign words; but in this case, I found myself stymied several times by the liberal use of unfamiliar words - for example, within a chapter or so, we have aphorism, performing exegesis, quotidian, excoriated, victual….. so as well as being captivated by the story, I feel educated! In addition to the enthralling spy action/romance story, the book tackles many complex issues head-on; such as racism, mental health and modern day sexuality. Many thanks to NetGallery and Avid Reader Press for allowing me to get an early copy of this debut novel - I have a feeling this will be a massive success when it is out on 7 May 2024! Highly recommended.