Karen Musser Nortman is a fellow Iowa Author I met while at a publishing event in West Liberty, Iowa, in November 2014. Because there were so many books I wanted to buy written by several talented authors, I could only purchase one of Karen’s. The Time Travel Trailer sounded the most intriguing to my historical fiction tastes. I finally got a chance to read it at my in-laws over the Christmas holiday, after I’d finished my MBA.
The Time Travel Trailer provides a glimpse of life during several different time periods. The first thing I noticed was the realness of the writing. Life with the teen daughter, especially during the earlier part, is totally accurate. There is also plenty of humor with distinctive character voices. I especially enjoyed the mother’s, Lynne’s, slightly sarcastic voice.
Nortman’s historical facts are weaved beautifully throughout The Time Travel Trailer and ground it in time – we get information about happenings, court cases, and events we’ve likely heard about before. The story is told through short, easily digestible chapters; you can pick it up, read a few chapters, quickly do what you have to do, and jump right back in without having to thumb through to see how many pages the next chapter has so you can decide if you have time to start reading. As I read, I was continuously curious about what Lynne and Dinah would find and in what year they would find themselves placed.
The story is told through Lynne’s and Dinah’s point of view (Lynne’s in the first person and Dinah’s in third) in no-particular-order alternating chapters or chapter groups. After the first few chapters from Dinah’s point of view, I wasn’t sure of the purpose of the alternating viewpoints and wondered if it would add to the story. As the story unfolded, however, I learned how Dinah’s unique perspective fit in and I can’t think of a way the author could’ve handled it differently.
The Time Travel Trailer, in addition to providing an interesting history lesson, develops into a double mystery – what happens along the way and what happened with the trailer’s original owner. As mentioned above, during the first approximate one-third of the book, I wondered where the story was going, but then the suspense picked up, keeping me turning the pages and reading “just one more chapter” before putting it down for the night. Nortman doesn’t disappoint in her mystery writing ability, either; the end provides a satisfying conclusion.
The Time Travel Trailer was a great read. It had good suspense that pulled me through the story, so on a can’t-put-it-down-scale of one for I couldn’t even finish it to ten for I was up until the wee morning hours, I give it an eight and a half.
This book would be great for those who enjoy camping, time-travel stories, mysteries, or history. It’s enjoyable on many levels.