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3.5 

The Ministry of Time

By Kaliane Bradley
The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK

“This summer’s hottest debut.” —Cosmopolitan • “Witty, sexy escapist fiction [that] packs a substantial punch...It’s a smart, gripping work that’s also a feast for the senses...Fresh and thrilling.” —Los Angeles Times • “Electric...I loved every second.” —Emily Henry

“Utterly winning...Imagine if The Time Traveler’s Wife had an affair with A Gentleman in Moscow...Readers, I envy you: There’s a smart, witty novel in your future.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

A time travel romance, a spy thriller, a workplace comedy, and an ingenious exploration of the nature of power and the potential for love to change it all: Welcome to The Ministry of Time, the exhilarating debut novel by Kaliane Bradley.

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.

She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machines,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But with an appetite for discovery, a seven-a-day cigarette habit, and the support of a charming and chaotic cast of fellow expats, he soon adjusts.

Over the next year, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a horrifically uncomfortable roommate dynamic, evolves into something much deeper. By the time the true shape of the Ministry’s project comes to light, the bridge has fallen haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences she never could have imagined. Forced to confront the choices that brought them together, the bridge must finally reckon with how—and whether she believes—what she does next can change the future.

An exquisitely original and feverishly fun fusion of genres and ideas, The Ministry of Time asks: What does it mean to defy history, when history is living in your house? Kaliane Bradley’s answer is a blazing, unforgettable testament to what we owe each other in a changing world.

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169 Reviews

3.5
Thinking Face
TwistyViolenceUnsatisfying plot
Anxious Face with sweat“I loved the premise of this book. The writing at times was thought provoking and lyrical. However, at other times I was a bit confused due to the word choice or sentence structure. (But thank you for some new vocabulary words). I think some scenes could be taken out and others expanded on. At times, a scene would be around 3 paragraphs long “they did this and this is how I felt, end.” then jump into another. Sometimes it was hard to decipher who was speaking in the dialogue without going back to see who spoke first. I loved Graham and how the author researched and drew inspiration from a historical figure. I enjoyed reading about the main character’s experience as a child of immigrants. Overall, this books has a few things I think could be fixed but I see the idea and potential of this author. I look forward to reading more from this author.”
Likable charactersBeautifully writtenRealistic settingHeartbreakingThought-provokingBad writingUnsatisfying plot
Thinking Face“Okay so let me state for the record I have no idea how to explain this book or what category it belongs in, I’m still slightly confused by what I have read, not least because the writing is amazing but the plot is, well, what is the plot? Honestly if this author rewrote the phone book I would read it just because her writing style is my everything (for me at least, can speak for anyone else). And I want someone to invent a time machine so Maggie and Arthur can be my friends (I called dibs). But all that being said, what exactly is this story about? It’s a love story but not a romance, it’s sci-fi but only as a vehicle for introducing time travel. It’s introspective and sad but hilarious and full of wit, it’s got a plot twist but you will have to wait (and wait) and its ending is necessary and annoying. It is brilliant and confusing so if it has mixed reviews I would understand. But if this is the author’s first book, well done I say, keep writing them and I will keep reading them.”
Characters change and growLikable charactersMulti-layered charactersDescriptive writingFunny writingMagical settingRealistic settingHeartbreaking
Beaming Face with Smiling Eyes
Characters change and growDiverse charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenFunny writingOriginal writingUnpredictableImmersive settingFeel goodThought-provoking

About Kaliane Bradley

Kaliane Bradley is a British-Cambodian writer and editor based in London. Her short fiction has appeared in Somesuch Stories, The Willowherb Review, Electric Literature, Catapult, and Extra Teeth, among others. She was the winner of the 2022 Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize and the 2022 V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize.

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