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Read With Us: The Summer 2024 Announcement

It’s that eagerly anticipated day that only comes 4 times a year . . . the day that Bonny and Kym and I tell you our next Read With Us selection. Without further delay, allow me to introduce:

The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley

The official description is as follows:

A time travel romance, a spy thriller, a workplace comedy, and an ingenious exploration of the nature of power and the potential for love to change it all: Welcome to The Ministry of Time, the exhilarating debut novel by Kaliane Bradley.

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.

And my description is that the official description is pretty accurate with a few caveats. I am about halfway through and I would say the romance is pretty lowkey, the time travel theories are very clever and unique, and the spy thriller stuff is definitely riveting. It’s actually an interesting blend of all of those genres, with some comedy thrown in for good measure, and I think that gives it wide appeal. I’ll save my official review and more thoughts for after I’ve finished.

In the meantime, I hope you will join with us and read The Ministry of Time.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I finished it over the weekend and I know I’m going to have to read it again! The pace picks up towards the end and I think I missed some important things.

  2. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I’m hoping to begin today! The more I read about it, the more intrigued I become . . .

  3. I’ve got a long wait at the library, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the list moves quickly or that the book is a Kindle deal. It sounds quite interesting!

  4. I have already read this book, and it was a 5 star book for me. It is so original in its plot, it expertly combines so many genres, and for me, it was a book that I thought about for a long time. I think this is an excellent choice for discussion. So much to discuss!

  5. I’ve read it, but am going to re-read it to pick up on some things I know I missed. It will be a great book to discuss!

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