Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Of Time and Place, B.R. Freemont (4 stars)

Of Time and Place Book Summary

As the global energy crisis of the 21st century wears on, James Lendeman searches for answers – both for the country and for himself.

Working in the Federal Energy Department for the iconoclastic and enigmatic Kate Hastings, James is at the center of a world of political intrigue and personal conflicts. Unsure of whether he can go along with Kate’s plans for the country (and for him), he is forced to steer his own way through a maze of personal and professional problems.

When we meet James a few years later (through an ingenious weaving of dual timelines), he is in Savannah, working as a contractor for the government and debating the merits of a flirtatious college student who lives in his boarding house.

Nimbly moving forward and backward through James’s personal timeline, Of Time and Place leads its readers on a journey through the twists and turns of life in a kind of historical novel of the future. From a tumultuous romance and marriage to a romantic spring in Florence and the adversities along the way, James finds himself debating both his own life and the feasibility of maintaining a viable US economy in the mid-21st century.

Drawn from very real issues of global import, and playing out in some of the most storied cities in the world, Of Time and Place will leave every reader pondering the future – and the present.
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We've all heard the warnings and concerns about our energy consumption and resources. James Lendeman is living in a future time where these concerns have turned into reality and the world has changed. James, initially as part of the Federal Energy Department, is in charge of finding answers. His job is difficult at best.
But the story isn't just about the machinations of government, it's also a very personal story of love and loss. Kate Hastings, James' boss, has big plans and often employs questionable methods. James gets caught in the middle more than once, especially as his personal relationship with Kate grows.
James is a charming and likable character searching for love and meaning. Women come and go, but he's always drawn back to Kate in some way or another. Their relationship was the most compelling part of the story for me. However, since James tells the story, I was left wanting more insight into the main female characters: first wife, Jane; longtime friend and eventual love, Pat; and even roomie/sometimes lover, Jacqueline. Kate especially. Although she is expertly crafted to be intriguing and flawed, I couldn't help but wonder what she did when James wasn't around and why she did it. I'd hate her for a few pages and then admire her for a few. Ultimately, she broke my heart.
The details of our future world, from both energy and economic perspectives, are thought-provoking. Even in the future, with so many issues still unresolved, the need for intimate relationships never wanes. I found comfort in that, and for me it was the heart of the story.
I recommend Of Time and Place to readers who enjoy a story with many dimensions and characters you'll wonder about long after the last page.
Rating: 4 stars
B.K. Freemont Bio
B.R. Freemont was born in New York and has lived in the Savannah area for over a decade. He holds a B.A. from Columbia and an M.A. from New York University. During his business career, Freemont filled a number of management assignments and briefly worked for government entities.

Over the years, his interests have included: astronomy, domestic and foreign travel, dog breed club administration, wine tasting, and avidly reading both fiction and non-fiction.

He is married and has a son and two daughters.
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Note: I received a complimentary copy from Tribute Books for review purposes. No other compensation was received. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the views expressed are my own.

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Tribute Books said...

Tia, as always, thanks for the review! I liked your description of Kate.

Tia Bach said...

Nicole, Kate was a great character, although I also liked James. Thanks for including me in another interesting read.