Book Review: Hazards of Time Travel

Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates

An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates

“Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America — “Wainscotia, Wisconsin”—that existed eighty years before.  Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town she is set upon a course of “rehabilitation”—but cannot resist falling in love with a fellow exile and questioning the constrains of the Wainscotia world with results that are both devastating and liberating.

Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel  is both a novel of harrowing discovery and an exquisitely wrought love story that may be Joyce Carol Oates’s most unexpected novel so far.

I absolutely loved the premise of this book — that in a dystopian future a young woman gets sent back in time to the 1950s as a punishment for free speech. There is definitely a bit of a cautionary tale about where politics is going…
I did enjoy the book after she is sent back, but not nearly as much. She has to learn how to make her way in this foreign time, scared that she is being monitored and deciding who to trust.
Overall, Hazards of Time Travel turned out to be a cute read and didn’t live up to it’s early potential.
Thank you to Edelweiss+ for a review copy of this book.
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