Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale

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The cover is what caught my eye first with Bill Zarchy’s Finding George Washington: you’ve got our founding father front and center, with crossed baseball bats and baseball, a baseball field in the background with the crowd, and an Amtrak train in the top right corner. Yes, it’s a little simple and “Photoshoppy,” but it also immediately grabs your attention. You want to find out what’s going on here and how all these things are linked. Plus there’s the subtitle, “A Time Travel Tale,” that really seals the deal for me.

The book begins on a cold night in 1778, when General George Washington observes the aurora borealis and then disappears from his reality, only to find himself traveling on a train car across the country. He ends up, after being offered some food by some fellow “train travelers,” on the other side of the country in a dog park in Oakland. He’s wearing his uniform and his sword and looks very out of place in 2014. Tim, who’s walking his dog, Nevada, takes pity on the general and gives him the benefit of the doubt, bringing him to his home in Berkeley. As time passes, and more details and facts are confirmed, it appears that the stranger is, in fact, George Washington, who has somehow been ripped from his own time and brought to 2014. Meanwhile, Washington is learning a lot about this twenty-first century America, with its diversity, new technology… and the wonderful American pastime, baseball, especially since we’re in the Bay Area, and the San Francisco Giants make into the postseason with a wild card win and get to the World Series. And if you’re already a baseball fan, then you know how that story ends.

But things are also starting to change. Little details at first: a store or restaurant changing names, looking different; things are appearing more Spanish and colonial, a clear indication that something is not right in the world, and that Washington not being back in his time and doing what he needs to do is having an effect on reality and time. Then some people show up looking for Washington: they know who he is and they intend to cause him harm. So now, it’s up to Washington, Tim, and his friend Matt to get the general back to Valley Forge on the other side of the country, and somehow get him back to his time, before the country is changed forever and is no longer the United States of America.

The book is well written, with a compelling plot. As a Bay Area resident, I loved all the local details. And as the characters follow along with the Giants winning games, I was right there with them, remembering that special season. The book doesn’t fall into the almost cliche plot lines of time travel stories, but plays with changes in the past affecting the future in new and interesting ways. The characters are interesting, and the story never gets predictable, so I was kept hooked to the end, wondering how things were going to get resolved.

Reviewed By:

Author Bill Zarchy
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 387 pages
Publisher Roving Camera Press
Publish Date 2020-Nov-23
ISBN 9780984919123
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2020
Category Mystery, Crime & Thriller


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