I do not know when I have ever enountered a more idiotic heroine than Cora Talmadge from this book. Cora has been talked by her friend Jenny into parachuting. Since this is her first jump, she is going to be strapped to the instructor who turns out to be Adrian de Vargas, Cora’s old boyfriend. The jump goes smoothly until Cora and Adrian are caught in a mysterious whirlwind and find themselves in a time not their own.
Adrian realizes something is fishy when the dusty, sandy desert turns out to be covered with grass and Scottsdale has disappeared. Cora thinks they are lost. They start walking and Scottsdale still doesn’t show up. Cora still thinks they are lost. They come across a cabin where the man and boy know nothing of trucks or telephones. Cora thinks they are reenactors. A bounty hunter comes by and threatens Adrian (Adrian is of American Indian ancestry). Cora thinks he’s an actor. Then they come across a band of Apache Indians and Little Miss Clueless still hasn’t gotten it. Cora, call 1-800-GET-SOME-BRAINS!!!
Eventually Cora finally figures out that they are in the past and for such a dithery little thing, she does not seem too perturbed. Cora and Adrian are taken in by the Apaches who refer to her as Talks Much (I would have named her No Brains, but they didn’t ask me). When Tiotonawen of the Apaches starts questioning Cora, she makes no attempt to answer his questions in a frame of reference that he could understand. She just babbles along about college, art galleries, McDonalds and Mount Everest. What a ditz! Here is Cora talking to an Apache woman about Adrian –
Apache woman: “He is strong of build and clean. His face shows no age yet he must be near thirty years.”
Cora: “He’s cute, I know. But thirty isn’t very old. Sunscreen! That’s it. Too much sun ages you. Adrian is careful, because I lectured him a good deal on the subject. I suspect he took my advice and applies an SPF of at least fifteen.”
It was at this point, dear readers, where the book hit the wall – hard. The book is full of awkward phrasing and sentences that just plain jarred. Cora cackles and rolls her eyes, her lips twist and curl and humor infects a character’s voice (sounds germy to me). Adrian stands around like a dummy and disappears for long stretches of conversation. It seems that Adrian, who had been found abandoned as a baby, is Tiotonawen’s long missing son who had been lost in the whirlwind as a 4 month old baby. But you know what? I did not care. Not a bit. As far as I was concerned, Cora and Adrian could have been lost in the past forever, or fallen into a canyon and been eaten by buzzards and I would not have missed them.
I did not finish this book. I just could not do it. It may have gotten better as it went along, but I had read over half of it and it showed no sign of improvement while I was in pain. I love to read. I really, really love to read, but this book did me in. I just could not torture myself with it any more.