Finn discovers his family harbors gifted time travelers whose mission, despite their best efforts, keeps ending in failure.
Finn’s birthdays—he’s nearly 13—are haunted by the loss of his twin sister, Faith, in the Dorset, Vermont, marble quarry at age 3. Now his mother’s disappeared. Finding her possessions intact at Gran’s, Finn seeks answers. A quantum physics enthusiast, he’s read about time-travel and multiple-universe theories, but what Gran has to tell him is incredible: The women in her family Travel through time, though only she and his mom Travel to the future as well as the past. Fearing his mom’s lost in time, Gran says Finn must Travel to find her. Because he’s male, he’ll need the portal created for him in a tree on Dorset Peak. A dangerous, twisty trek through past, present, and future ensues. As versions of his relatives proliferate, their accounts conflicting, Finn increasingly relies on his stalwart friend Gabi. (Gabi and her mom are of Puerto Rican heritage; other characters are presumed white.) Structured like a series opener, the novel ends abruptly, important questions sketchily answered or left unaddressed. If failure to tackle and resolve time travel’s thorny plotting challenges disappoints genre aficionados, the vivid setting and appealing characters—Finn and his quirky relatives especially—offer plenty to satisfy readers less invested in the category.
This soft-science-fiction debut will resonate with Madeleine L’Engle fans. (author’s note) (Science fiction. 9-13)