A teenager communicates with a girl from the past through the mystical power of The Meadow.
In a novella of time-travel adventures and the power of the imagination, 14-year-old Michael Sullivan struggles to fend off loneliness after his best friend Joe moves away. The duo had been inseparable, exploring the woods near their neighborhood, creating maps of the trails they discovered and imagining fantastical science-fiction stories together. After Joe’s departure, Michael sets out to continue their work mapping the woods, bringing along a walkie-talkie he discovered at his grandmother’s house. While resting in a glen near his house, a favorite spot affectionately known as The Meadow (and, later, The Garden), he discovers that his walkie-talkie miraculously gives him the power to speak with 14-year-old Ashley, who lived in the exact same geographical location some 53 years in the past. As they seek to unravel the mystery that allows them to communicate, the two become fast friends and, soon after, develop deeper feelings. They speak every day, and Michael makes it his mission to find a way to bring them together. In his search for clues, he breaks into the spooky, abandoned house in his neighborhood where Ashley’s friend Sarah once lived. What begins as a magical miracle soon becomes a tale of futuristic science involving time travel and alternate dimensions. The author’s touch is light, keeping the (pseudo)scientific explanations to a minimum while holding in the foreground Michael’s insatiable thirst for discovery and his budding feelings of adolescent romance. The story is also tightly plotted, with the mystery building quickly and smoothly. Even though the ending is a bit unsatisfying, the enjoyable journey takes precedence over the rationale behind the occurrences.
The best kind of science fiction: The science sows the seeds, but the story grows the garden.