Annie is a “romantic in the wrong century,”
but her boyfriend is more interested in his old cars. But one day at the derelict mansion outside of town, when “something was wrong with the day, or something wrong with her” she falls back one century and falls in love with Strat, a boy who is everything she’s been dreaming of—everything her boyfriend is not. He is handsome, honorable, and heir to the Stratton mansion and fortune.
The 1880s seem incredibly romantic to Annie, so much better than her own ugly, plastic century. It is an age when men are men and women are women and no one mistakes one for the other. The men are charming and chivalrous. Their courtliness is so attractive to girl whose boyfriend expected her to load his tools in his truck for him. What could be better than to wear beautiful, feminine dresses and live in a luxurious mansion?
But it’s also a time of tremendous stiffness and formality. Even young people call each other by their formal titles of Mr. and Miss. And everyone is expected to “modulate” themselves and be subject to elaborate “rules of behavior.” Women’s lives are even more restrictive than the corsets they wear.
Strat is fascinated by this beautiful free-spirited girl that lands in his world. He is both attracted to and shocked by her unconfined body and bare legs. Unlike his peers, he seems willing to let her be who she is, and loves her in spite of her alien nature.
But Annie realizes that we don’t own time as we think we do with our clocks and watches. Time owns us. We are a product of our time. Will her relationship with Strat be sustainable in a world where men make the rules and govern the lives of their women, own their women? A world where a woman who doesn’t marry ceases to have any value? In Strat’s world women are so desperate for marriage that they sometimes give up relative freedom and a chance to go to college to marry repellant men old enough to be their fathers, men who only want their money.
Annie is a “Century Changer.”
She can choose which century she wants to live in. But no matter which century she chooses, someone will be unhappy. She has made a mess of it on both sides of time. If only she can keep everybody safe and still get a happily ever after for herself.
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