Friday, 19 July 2013

The Threads of Time, by Cally Phillips

The Threads of Time

Cally Phillips

Pub by HoAmPresst

Reviewed by Kathleen Jones

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wander around an archaeological dig and be physically whisked back in time?

Paul is taking part in a dig in Galloway, southern Scotland, one of the lowly muck-shifters.  But he really fancies one of the senior archaeologists - Diane - older than him, beautiful, out of his league. 

Strange things begin to happen.  Paul has dreams, but are they dreams?  And Diane begins to notice him.  Is she really interested, or is it a game she’s playing with their boss, the man in charge of the dig who has his own agenda and isn’t playing by the rules?

This is a time-slip novel with good, passionate characters and a thorough knowledge of archaeology and pre-history. As you'd expect from an experienced actor and playwright, the dialogue is excellent. It’s a little slow in parts, but apparently it was Cally Phillips’ first novel. Wonder too about this current fashion for brevity and galloping pace - perhaps we should have a new ‘slow book’ movement as in ‘slow food’?  Paragraphs of reflection and description are, perhaps, something we should give time to in our crowded lives. The Threads of Time is definitely a good read, a page-turner, and the ending is very unexpected.
I've also read Cally's Cuban novel 'Another World is Possible' - definitely worth checking out!  And I really liked her short story collection 'Voices in Ma Heid', written entirely in Scots - not easy for a sassenach to read initially, but when I got my ear in, the stories were moving and sometimes shocking.  Cally is a highly political writer and her books are a must-read if you're looking for something different.