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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #582

by muffy

Taking the title from a line in "Kath," a 1991 song by indie rock band Sebadoh - Every Anxious Wave by Mo Daviau, is a "highly original debut -- a wild romp of a love story across time and a soulful interweaving of science and music -- this is The Time Traveler's Wife meets Where'd You Go Bernadette."

Karl Bender, washed-up former guitarist for an indie rock band now owns and runs The Dictator's Club, a bar in Chicago's Buck Town. He finds a wormhole in his closet while searching for his boot, and with his best (and only) friend Wayne, develops a business selling access to people who want to travel back in time to hear their favorite bands. Then Wayne insists on traveling back to December 8, 1980, Manhattan in order to rewrite history, but Karl's slip on the keyboard sends him back to 980, 500 years before the first boatload of Dutch colonists landed on the Island of Mannahatta.

Desperate to get Wayne back to the present, Karl enlists the help of Lena Geduldig, a prickly, overweight astrophysicist at Northwestern. Their connection is immediate. While they work on getting Wayne back, they fall in love - with time travel, and each other. Unable to resist meddling with the past, Karl and Lena bounce around time, altering the course of their lives. Then out-of-the-blue Karl gets an email from his future self, sending him forward in time to try to save someone dear to them.

"Daviau is ferocious with her sad and flawed characters, whose pain propels the story through several iterations... A dark and funny love story that, like its main characters, is much sweeter than it appears on the surface."

The author (Smith,Helen Zell Writers' Program at UM), a former librarian and storyteller, now lives in Portland, Oregon. An earlier version of this novel won an Hopwood Award in 2012. You might want to check out the NPR book review also.

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