THE TIME TREE by Enid Richemont


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In their favorite tree, two Londoners discover a time-traveler--an Elizabethan gift who becomes their friend and protÉgÉ. In her own time, Anne is despised as simple, freakish, possibly evil. Joanna and Rachel realize immediately, however, that she is deaf (the two have observed a deaf class, described rather insensitively--and inaccurately--as ""chattering away like monkeys""); they contrive to teach Anne to read. As the gifts mature, the visits cease, but a sampler later discovered in a museum is evidence that Anne was real--and prospered after her unusual tutoring. The interaction between the girls from different eras is well imagined, and the alacrity with which Anne learns is heartwarming, but some details of this first novel are less convincing--especially Anne's ability to communicate with Joanna and Rachel (but not with her own family) in a sort of broken speech, and her familiarity with such Elizabethan turns of phrase as ""I prithee."" (Ironically, Richemont makes a point of the contrast between 16th- and 20th century speech--the differences interest her characters--while the American publisher protects American children from such self-explanatory Briticisms as ""underground"" and ""crisp."") Not as carefully conceived as Thomas' The Princess in the Pigpen (1989), but an acceptable time fantasy for younger readers.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1990
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Little, Brown