Playwright and screenwriter Hamilton (Firefly, 2012) explores the power of love to transcend time during the Great Blizzard of 1888.
Newly married, affluent painter Richard Rhys and his wife, Victoria, live in 1888 New York City and anticipate the birth of their first child. Due to the unseasonably mild March weather, Victoria decides to go to their summer estate in Brooklyn without telling Richard, who has an appointment in Manhattan. That day, the Great Blizzard of 1888 begins, and Victoria soon finds herself trapped inside the house by whipping winds and piles of snow. After Richard discovers she’s not at their Manhattan home, he ultimately finds her at the summer house. Now both trapped by mammoth snow drifts, the pair counts on the power of their love to help them survive. Soon, they discover that they can interact with a variety of people from the house’s past and future eras. These include a 21st-century artist, famous historical characters such as John Wilkes Booth, and a Native American from Manhattan Island’s early days—all exist in different times across the centuries but in the same location. It’s an unusual idea, and there’s a diverse cast of characters, but once the story reveals its basic theme—how love can triumph over time itself—it time-shifts furiously, as if to make up for a relatively languid overall narrative. Scenes of sexual intimacy between characters soon become repetitive and slow the overall momentum, while occasional subplots—such as whether the future, now-decrepit summer house will be torn down—are advanced but too quickly resolved. As a result, readers may find the book’s second half somewhat slow as they await the final reveal.
An unevenly executed fantasy of enduring love.