My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time | Liz Jensen

My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time feels slightly reminiscent of a mixture between Jane Eyre and the Discworld books, except with time travel, avocado condoms and a little girl who loves spiderman. It’s witty, unapologetic and downright charming – and totally not in the same vein of other time travel novels I’ve encountered. I mean, the time traveller is a cunning Danish prostitute from the late 1800s with a lazy, sometimes unintelligible mother figure as a sidekick.

So to expand on what the novel is about, I’ll add in the blurb as my mind is still buzzing after finishing the last page. I just put the book down five minutes ago!

In Copenhagen, part-time prostitute Charlotte and her lumpen sidekick, Fru Schleswig, haven taken on jobs as cleaning ladies of dubious talent to tide them over the harsh winter of 1897. But the home of their neurotic new employer, the widow Krak, soon reveals itself to be riddled with dark secrets – including the existence of a demonic machine rumoured to swallow people alive. Rudely catapulted into twenty-first century London, the hapless duo discover a whole new world of glass, labour-saving devices and hectic, impossible romance.

Now with that out of the way, it’s time to focus my mind on summarising the hectic feelings this novel has pushed on me.

Firstly:

  • I loved the character of Charlotte, she was this awesome bull-busting person who got things done. But she was also inclined towards melodrama and exaggeration, and was unapologetic about who she was and what she did for a living. I appreciated that. The novel also relied on her narration, and oh boy was it fun and playful. I don’t think the novel would have worked as well, if not for that narration.
  •  The novel feels like a romp, a light hearted romp with adventure, action and dazzle. It was a nice step from the darkness of the last novel I read.
  • The other characters were interesting and eccentric – much to my liking!

I also enjoyed the romance, it was sweet and lovely – however the development was slightly too quick for me. It did fit the tone of the book. And although the science side (time travel) rushed over my head a bit, it wasn’t necessary to understand it to enjoy the novel.

Overall this was a nice quick read, wonderful with a cup of jasmine tea.

I give My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time 3.5/5*

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