Elsetime – Eve McDonnell

Stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love a historical fiction that is full of adventure, whilst still giving you a real sense of the era…which Elsetime definitely delivered on!

Set in 1928, there is a snowstorm which is causing the river to begin to burst his banks. On January 6th, it threatens to overspill and the next day there is a Great Flood. 14 souls will be lost that day.

However, Glory – a one-handed orphan – and Needle – her time-travelling friend – want to change the future, along with their pet crow. First, though, they need people to listen to them. And second? They need to be prepared to face the consequences of time travel…

I absolutely loved how enchanting this book was! The era and adventure were both gripping and beautifully told. Each chapter pulled you further into the story.

Needle and Glory were a dynamic duo who worked well together as main characters. Each of them complemented the others strengths and weaknesses; they show that no matter who you are, you are capable of achieving if you put your mind to it.

But, to hear more about Elsetime let’s hear from the author, Eve McDonnell!

Elsetime – SCH-M-OCKING for Treasure!

Just like twelve-year-old Needle in Elsetime, I have a nagging passion for treasure hunting – strolling along the waterside, scanning the stones and mud or for a glint of gold or a sparkle of water-tumbled glass. I do not live near a river rich in finds such as the Thames,so I beachcomb along the sunny south east coast of Ireland instead. When I do happen upon a marble, a shard of painted teacup or even a tiny plastic toy, I stare down at it in the palm of my hand and wonder about its history: Who owned you? How did you change their lives? How old are you? Are you lost, or were you thrown away? When my twinswould come along, I’d dream up far-fetched, sometimes epicstories for each treasure as we walked, finishing them later as I tucked them into bed.

Some call this hunting foreshores ‘mudlarking’, but Elsetime’s Needle calls it ‘schmocking’ – SCH-M-OCK! (you have to pop your lips open at the M bit, and that’s the sound Needle hears when he pulls treasure from the soggy mud). Needle would not have been the only treasure hunter of his time – mudlarks were a common sight along the banks of the Thames during the 1800s. They were often young boys and girls, described by a visitor of the day as being “dressed like scarecrows who used to sprawl about over the mud, just as you may have seen dark little crabs.” These mudlarks were searching for anything they could sell or use, be it rusty old nails or a chunk of coal. It was their means to survival.

Today, the items ‘schmocked’ from the mud of the Thames provide us with a snapshot of times-past – a button, a thimble, a war medal – each item brings us closer to our ancestors. In order to mudlark in such a treasure trove, mudlarkers must carry a licence from the Port of London Authority and this ensures that items of interest are rightly reportedto and considered by the Museum of London.

But we don’t need a trip to the Thames to feel the magic of the treasure hunt! As habit would have it, my eyes rarely leave the ground no matter where I am, and on forest walks and city strolls, I am often rewarded with fine treasure. Whether the desire to treasure hunt is hereditary or not, I have gladly passed it on and, although my twins are young, they are seasoned treasure hunters. They stood over my shoulder as I captured their favourite finds in a painting to make sure I got every scratch and every crack just right. They tell me each one is worth millions. So they’re super-rich. Lucky things.

Likewise, Needle’s father kept a box in his satchel of his favourite things – a green glass marble from the 1700s, a curious green medicine bottle filled with gloopy liquid, a fine bone comb and, strangely, a plain wooden doorknob. Each item tells a story, and you can find out all the details in Elsetime!

My oldest find: An echinoid fossil and, boy, is it old! Echinoids have lived in the seas since about 450 million years ago, which is about 220 million years before dinosaurs appeared.

My rarest find: It has to be my purple sea-glass, found by my trainee-schmocker (twin 1)

My favourite find: An old glass bottle that warns of poison inside. Found with the help of trainee-schmocker (twin 2). I captured it in the painting of my twins’ favourite things but, unfortunately, I later broke it – boy, I was in big trouble, and how I wished for an undo button that would work!

My most valuable find: When my Agent, Jo Hayes of The Blair Partnership, offered me representation, I was dumbstruck and ran from their offices to a tiny park down the road where I sat under a tree. At my foot, I found a gold ring. This find was special: in Chapter One of Elsetime, which was already written, Needle finds a ring just like it! Magical! 

What I REALLY want to find: Just like Needle, I want to find the rarest thing of all – treasure from the future!

Happy schmocking, everyone!

Like the sound of this book? Buy it here: https://amzn.to/36evjRF

Emily x

📚 Book gifted by publisher.

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