3 out of 4 stars
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The Forgotten Timepiece: A Historical Sci-Fi Tale of Timeless Love, Self-Acceptance, and Betrayal is a poignant, touching, and memorable historical fiction written by Joyce Licorish.
SeRina Salvatore is the beautiful, seventeen-year-old, adopted daughter of the richest Italian family in a town in West Virginia. She and her closest friends, Briana and Michaela, are the most desirable girls at Arlington Manor High.
After a heartbreaking tragedy, SeRina sets out on a quest to find her biological family. Her quest takes her to the most unlikely of places and comes face-to-face with an eccentric old woman who introduces herself as her biological grandmother. Consumed by disillusionment and with her mind clouded by self-entitlement, SeRina vehemently refuses to acknowledge the truth about her heritage. This refusal only exacerbates her plight when she is mysteriously transported from the year 2009 to a plantation in the antebellum South in 1859.
With absolutely no way to go back to her own time, SeRina lives with her ancestors and experiences, first-hand, the struggle of blacks which she has always thought comical and exaggerated. She witnesses the subhuman treatment of black slaves, suffers abuse in the hands of cruel overseer, observes ruthless elimination of dispensable slaves, and gets her fate decided on by others merely based on the color of her skin. Finally, SeRina finds a new meaning to ‘freedom,’ a word which she has always considered insignificant until now.
Told in the third-person perspective and with a consistently steady pacing, this is a poignant and heart-wrenching story about slavery, discrimination, survival, and self-acceptance. The conflict is introduced early on and the intensity is maintained all throughout the book by introducing unexpected twists and surprising turns of events which lead to a satisfying climax. Dialogues are fitting for characters in both past and present time. The author creates a set of relatable and endearing characters. Though SeRina is presented as a courageous, resilient, and strong-willed woman, my favorite character is Big Sam. He is strong, kind, and gentle. He also has an extraordinarily beautiful and loving heart.
Needless to say, I enjoyed this book immensely. It vividly depicts a slice of American history. The part I like most is the author’s portrayal of racial discrimination even in the present time: how SeRina and her classmates look down on their black Social Studies teacher and how SeRina and her friends feel about the Asian pedicurist at Prissy’s Pedicure Palace. For me, it is a painful reminder that though slavery has been abolished a long, long time ago and that America is known as the land of freedom, opportunity, and equality, racism still exists.
However, there are noticeable errors within the entire book which include incorrect usage (that sounds to direct instead of too direct and Aren’t their slaves to do that? Instead of Aren’t there), missing apostrophes (come to his friends aid), missing opening quotation marks, and typo errors (what in the is so funny).
I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is touching and memorable. I recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction. Scenes of abuse and violence, however, may not be suitable for young readers.
The Forgotten Timepiece
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