A quote from the back cover:

Wheeler Burden suddenly finds himself dislocated in time and space, from 1988 San Francisco to Vienna in the year 1897. It is precisely ninety-one years before his last memory and a half-century before his birth.

The place and time – Vienna just at the turn of the century – might seem random, but not so from Wheeler’s point of view. During his school years, he has heard endless stories about this era from one of his teachers, stories so interesting and told with such passion that he feels as if he had already been there. And now he is finally there for real.

In Vienna, Wheeler meets various bright young Viennese, including one Sigmund Freud, as well as a captivating young American lady, with whom he soon falls in love. He is determined not to do anything to change the course of history, but inevitably cannot resist getting involved with the people he meets.

In parallel with his experiences in Vienna, we’re reading about Wheeler’s past life (in the future) as well as about his parents and grandparents. The book is not so much about Wheeler as about his family. The two time stories – the weeks in Vienna, and the years in the past/future – unfold in parallel, and connections between them appear in unexpected places, until the whole thing becomes a strange loop, future history becoming seemingly inevitable.

It’s a love story and a mystery and history lesson and a book about ideas (and how they change the world). If “a rich tapestry” wasn’t such a cliche, I’d call the book that. It’s a great story, well told, a pleasure to read. Somewhat confusing at times, but only enough to make me think when I finished it that I should read it all over again.

Another glowing review.

Amazon UK, Amazon US.