Author: Jane Yates
Published: 6th June 2013
Summary: A debut which confirms Yates’ creative talent
Lilly is the eponymous Paradox Child. Her life is to be changed completely by the dark secret her family holds – they are able to travel back in time.
This novel for young adults marries exploration of the possibility of time travel, with elements of fantasy and historical fiction. Set in Oxford in the 1980s, a young woman knows she’s part of a slightly different family. They keep themselves to themselves. She has few friends at school and tries to keep her head down. She enjoys walking the family dogs, growing food in the garden and doing spells with her mother and grandmother. The spells she, her mother Rose and her grandmother Iris perform were passed down from older generations of women named after flowers.
The disappearance of her mother means Lilly has to be told the family secret a little earlier than her gran had wanted. Lilly needs to be trained up to go and rescue her mother, and has to learn how to go back in time to find her. To her surprise, she finds the time machine in the Pitt Rivers Museum amongst the West African masks, South American shrunken heads and Inuit seal intestine parkas.
Yates explores how time travel could work, and what it might be like, through Lilly’s experiences and her interaction with a novelist who’s writing a book about time travel (in a book about time travel!). Others in the book are exploring how to travel through time as well, and they promise to play a larger part in the sequel.
This debut novel from artist Jane Yates confirms her all round creative talent. It draws on Yates’ education in physics, her experience working in the Pitt Rivers Museum and her interests in Oriental culture and traditional magic.
Paradox Child is available on Kindle and other e-readers.
- The Pitt Rivers Museum was created when General Pitt Rivers donated 20,000 objects to Oxford University in 1883.
- Yates suggests the special theory of relativity is the reason for the possibility of time travel in her book.
- Oxford seems to have a special place in stories of fantasy and science fiction, as it was the setting of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, too.
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