Author: Richard G. Sharp
Genre: Contemporary, Military History
Publication Date: December 27, 2012
Paperback: 268 pages
Time is the Oven is a kind of anti-Western romp, following the adventures of a young man (a boy in Jacob’s Cellar) beginning in post-Civil War Missouri. There he meets the legendary Jesse James and is singularly unimpressed, but comes to see his older brother as a sort of mentor. Pursuing a difficult romantic relationship with a “sporting lady” aspiring to become an actress, he meets only disappointment, marries a respectable woman and seeks unsuccessfully to return to the rural life of his youth. Following a family tragedy and estrangement from his wife, he undertakes an odyssey to Panama during the failed French canal project, eventually returning, definitely older and arguably wiser, to Missouri for unanticipated reunions at the novel’s dramatic conclusion. Although in some respects a sequel to Jacob’s Cellar, the novel is a stand-alone romance inspired by Frank Jame’s love of Shakespeare, with a plot reminiscent of “A Winter’s Tale.“
I definitely have to say that I enjoyed this book. Although for the first chapter, for whatever reason, I had a hard time getting into it. But as soon as I read it and kept continuing on I started to really enjoy the book. In this book William grows from a boy to a man during post civil war.
The book starts out with William trying to get a position in the military, but since the war ended the need for soldiers were low and it was hard to join. So from there William falls in love, gets a job with a medicine show, and ends up meeting and helping the famous James brothers. His story is amazing and filled with ups and many downs. But during the bad times he somehow finds a way to keep moving on and find good work. Along the way he meets many different people that help him on the way and helps shape his life. He becomes a hard worker and makes something out of his life. Although life was hard on him he found a way to move on.
Out of the entire book one of my favorite parts of the book is when Frank James appears. I really enjoyed that William becomes acquainted to Frank James and I would always look forward to it. The way he thought and quoted Shakespeare made you think what was going on in his mind. He would have made a great schoolteacher, but if you know anything about the James’ brothers then you know that did not happen.
It was a great book and was surprised there was another book that comes before this one. This book can be read as a stand alone and still enjoyable. I will probably end up getting the other book to read what life was like before the Civil War and to see everything that lead up to it. I was lucky enough to win the goodreads giveaway for this book.