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‘Beautifully written and superbly executed’ Times
'This clever and moving Faustian tale is packed with fascinating historical detail' Express
'A joyous romp around England’s dark past' Suzie Feay, Guardian
From the author of the bestselling The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain, this is a stunningly high-concept historical novel that is both as daring as it is gripping, and perfect for fans of Conn Iggulden, SJ Parris and Kate Mosse.
December 1348. With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last.
John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them still further. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived.
As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment and war. But their time is running out – can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?
What readers are saying:
‘Wow, what a book! I absolutely adored this. This was ambitious but done to perfection’ Sara Marsden
‘The Outcasts of Time is a tour de force, rich in spellbinding detail. Haunting and atmospheric, there is warmth and humour alongside fear and torment; all human life is here. As perfect a novel as any I've ever read’ Ophelia’s Reads
'A fascinating trip through seven centuries of history ... The author has done well to traverse such a sweep of time ... it's a great read and I'd recommend it' Netgalley reviewer, 4 stars
Man's yearning for purpose and legacy are traced through the eyes of a devout stone carver in the latest from Mortimer (The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England), a compassionate and thought-provoking exploration of faith, conscience, guilt, self-worth, and redemption. In 1348 England, John of Wrayment ("Everyman") and his older, sinful brother, William Beard, return home to Exeter, avoiding plague-ridden travelers and dead bodies along the road. After an act of kindness brings disastrous results, they become infected and fear returning to their families. Desperate, John is confronted by a mystical voice offering to let him and his brother live each one of their six remaining days 99 years after the last. Eager to make amends and earn his place in heaven, John accepts. Over 595 years, culminating with the bombings of World War II in 1942, Mortimer's melancholy jaunt through the ages reveals the cultural and technological advancements of food, fashion, religion, government, and war. John observes the paradox that "man is a devil to man" yet has immense capacity for charity and benevolence. Through John, Mortimer tackles the philosophical quandaries of man's brutality and hypocrisy, the nature of sin, duty to crown and country, and every man's desire to have lived a worthy life, resulting in a ruminative and imaginative novel.