In the year 1777, the American War for Independence was in its second year. New York remained firmly in the grasp of the British, while the surrounding territories belonged to the Colonials.
Tim Euston was a young man in Yonkers, when he witnessed an older, more respected, man attempt to take his sister. Rushing to her defense, he finds himself accused of robbery and thrown in prison. This leads to a chain of events and meetings which will lead Tim, and possibly even the fledgling colonies, to a future they couldn’t imagine.
Thorleifson does a wonderful job evoking the world of Colonial America. The patterns of speech, familiar to many of us from documents of the time, come forth with every word. Tim is a fan of Thomas Paine, and memorizes passages out of his book, which he recites when he is alone. The streets of Yonkers and New York are well-depicted, giving glimpses of life during these times. The faux-woodcut art at the start of each chapter further help to immerse the reader in the era.
One odd thing about the book is how Thorleifson presents his more scholarly bits. In most chapters, he has a set-out paragraph or two detailing some aspect of the life during this time. Colonial slang or wages or other aspects which help the reader understand what is being discussed here. However, rather then offset or put in a footnote, it is at the end of a paragraph, sometimes in the middle of the chapter. There is a slight font difference which helps set it apart, but it seems a little out of place in the middle of a narrative. While interesting and not that disruptive, it seems that this would be better placed in a footnote.
Tim Curious is described as a mystery novel set in colonial America. And there is a mystery that unfolds. But for the most part, it takes a back seat to the descriptions and observations of our protagonist. Tim spends a great deal more time chopping wood or driving his cart then he spends musing over murder suspects. The struggles of the Colonials, rebelling against the British are more the subject of the book then the murder of Amos Short. Yet you don’t mind, as the era is one that is rarely touched upon, and the author has a deft hand at depicting the era.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||308 pages|
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