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Department of Temporal Adjustment by…
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Department of Temporal Adjustment

by Veronica R. Tabares

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This was a book that I won from a blog, and I promptly filed away. I pulled it out a couple weeks ago, and I was pretty sure I might not like it. Until I read the back of the book. The story line actually sounded kind of interesting. Although time travel books are not my normal genre, I thought I would give it a try. It was also printed in Seattle, and I do enjoy reading books set in the Puget Sound area.

As I began writing, I was somewhat drawn in. The story was mildly interesting, and the writing was mostly well done. Not my normal author style, but having it told fist person was certainly the best thing the author could have done. It made you realize that the narrator was not crazy as might have been suspected.

While time travel was a focus of the storyline, it was unlike any other time travel book. It was not time travel "ala" H.G. Wells nor The Time Traveler's Wife (which I could never get into). The future seemed nice, and it was halfway believable.

The thing I liked most about the book had nothing whatsoever to do with content. I appreciated the fact that there was no profanity and not a single sex scene! That moved this book way up on the scale of my esteem, and it even kept me reading it.

I struggled most with how to rate this book. I don't think I laughed once during the book. There was humor, but it was pretty old hat. I didn't really make much of a connection with the characters. But the fact remains that it had excellent descriptions, and I did want to know how everything tied together--which you do not find out until the end. So I decided to give it a rating of a 3. I probably would rate it 3 1/2. I would read something else by this author merely because her work is not objectionable. I think the only thing I wish could have been left out was the bit about hypnosis, but it is interesting to note how the author worked that section out--possibly not how you think she would. It is an easy enough book to read, and it was certainly refreshing for a change. ( )
  ruthhill74 | Oct 23, 2011 |
Department of Temporal Adjustment

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Vanessa, a young mother of three, is happily married to Tony. Both parents are pursing college degrees at the University of Washington. Sharing the responsibilities of raising their three "cherubs", Tony goes to school during the day and Vanessa attends night classes. Sometimes Vanessa stays on campus, in the lab, deep into the wee hours of the night finishing up lab reports. One particular eve she hears a strange humming noise emanating from the janitor's closet. Unable to quell her curiosity, Vanessa goes exploring, accidentally walking through a time portal straight into the future.. Those entering the portal aren't allowed to return, but Vanessa has extenuating circumstances. The history book's reveal Vanessa plays an integral role in the future. She must be returned to the past. A process called "shielding" is used to erase any memory of the portal. However, "shielding" has many of its own unintended consequences. For starters, Vanessa doesn't ever remember entering the portal, so her curiosity continues to draw her back, requiring her to undergo the "shielding process" again and again. Continual "shieldings" could potentially leave Vanessa in a vegetative state. Will her curiosity get the better of her or will the scientists of the future discover a way to keep Vanessa in the past? History depends on it!!

Department of Temporal Adjustment, despite its unconventional title and slightly simplistic cover, is a strangely unique story. It is a wild combination of "Leave it to Beaver" wholesomeness laced with the situational humor found in the movie "Ground Hogs Day". Together they unite to provide the reader with both an original and humorous take on time travel, along with the oddly peculiar side effects it can have on a young woman's life and her young family.

Recommendation: This book for me was like watching an old movie due to the theme and plot. I would recommend it to older audiences who are searching for wholesome novels with limited shock value. Readers who are technical or analytical will also enjoy the author's wit unique sense of humor instilled in the main character, Vanessa. "The Department of Temporal Adjustment" is a fast paced lighthearted read, one especially suitable to the senior reader, which is a rare find.



Other Goodies: Veronica R. Tabares has a degree in anthropology (specializing in archaeology) from the University of Washington. She and her husband have four children and live in Seattle, Washington. Department of Temporal Adjustment is her fourth book. Find out more information about Veronica at her blog. http://Veronicatabares.org ( )
  sgcallaway1994 | Nov 24, 2010 |
Now, this is an author with a great imagination and fun, too. The kind of person who would be a great friend. Certainly, I'm basing this on her book, but no one could write that way without having a great sense of humor and fantasy. I refer, of course, to Veronica R. Tabares, the author of Department of Temporal Adjustment. With this title, I just had to read the book and I was not disappointed. Vanessa's life both in her reality and in her mental wanderings is hilarious in places, completely serious in others, and involves constant conversations with herself, a trait most mothers with small children pick up very quickly. I found myself identifying with Vanessa on all kinds of levels.

Vanessa is a very happily married mother of three little girls and a prince of a husband. She is working toward her degree in Archaeology. Between her hours and her husband's hours working on his degree, they are still able to have one or the other home with the girls.

The fun begins when the family sees a group of people dressed in clothing of other eras, but seemingly unaware of their surroundings. Though that is odd in itself, Vanessa begins to see these same people most evenings, sometimes in town, sometimes on campus. Considering she works alone at night in the basement at the university on her archaeology projects, her mind takes her through all kinds of possibilities, building from maybe '...an acting group', right up to '...a bunch of terrorists'. I said the author had a rich imagination! Once she sees this impossible group emerge from the janitor's closet, she is dumbfounded, but also fearful.

This story is like deja vu in reverse. She suffers confusing memory losses, and though some things trigger a slight memory that wafts away on the wind, other memories at home seem to be normal activities that are forgotten, fortunately for short periods. Again and again she is told she has "been here before" but has absolutely no memory of it. Put it down to Vanessa's inquisitiveness, she goes where she shouldn't, and just what is that humming sound she hears every night she works late? What goes on in that closet? How can so many people get in there? This book reads as though it is all told from the mind. It's a mystery to be solved, a story of family love, a living potential, fantasy, and a secret that must be kept at all costs. A very enjoyable and quick read. ( )
  readerbynight | Sep 15, 2010 |
Mother of three young girls, Vanessa also took on a coarse load of classes as an Archeology student at the local University. Having the need to use the lab in the basement of the University for late night study sessions was not unusual. For this curious women who had a certain sense of right and wrong, a strange humming noise coming from the janitors closet and the strange comings and goings of large groups of people, especially these oddly clad people, just couldn’t be ignored. Once the janitors closet was opened, things were different then she expected. There were no mops and brooms, only a large white laboratory that she had never, in her three years at Washington University known existed. As the scientists approached her and started telling her that she had stumbled into a time portal and been transported into the very, very distant future she came to understand that she had an important roll in creating the future that they knew and with that information they had to send her back to her own time without the memories of being them and the future events. The memory blocking process that they used created some unusual side effects that left Vanessa wondering if she was losing her mind. Unfortunately the memory blocks did not prevent the curios mind from stumbling again and again through the portal.

How fun that was, I wish I had been able to sit and read more at one time. This book and the main character Vanessa in particular had such a fun sense of humor, a great theory on life, love and raising children. The way Vanessa can get herself sidetracked by random thoughts was funny and seemed like such a natural order to things. Absolutely loved Becca (oldest daughter) who was cute, creative and resourceful, Tony (the husband) seems to be straight out of a dream and Erica (Vanessa’s lab partner) who was gullible enough to fall for some of Vanessa’s practical jokes, yet had the sense of humor to laugh in the end. While the story line had the unusual quirks of the memory blocking side effects, the end result was very predictable but still fun to get to. The authors writing style makes this an easy read even at 336 pages and would be appropriate for anyone who likes a cute, quirky adventure. ( )
  onyx95 | Jul 28, 2010 |
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While maintaining an impressive juggling act as a wife, mother, and student of archaeology, a young woman accidently steps through a time portal into the future.
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