Five teenagers from an elite high school in Port Antonio, Jamaica, vanish while sitting in detention and find themselves in the year 1728, which is the height of the slave trade from Africa to the West Indies and the Americas. The teens are from different racial backgrounds and the experience of the black teens Grace, Vanessa and Dalton differs significantly from that of mixed-heritage Isabel and white Patrick. Inevitable tensions arise among the students, exacerbated by living in an age of violence, racism, greed and dishonour. Danger surrounds them at every turn, yet they must conquer their fears, work together, and fight off the relentless pursuit of a malevolent councilman to return to the twenty-first century.
Plot: The Titchfield Turnabout is a moving, propulsive, and exceedingly well-crafted novel. Lennon transports the contemporary struggles and injustices teenagers face to a new context, where the stakes are even higher. Ultimately, readers will find this a relevant and powerful read.
Prose: Lennon’s skillfully crafted prose is graceful, authoritative, and alive—delivering compelling and memorable characters and experiences.
Originality: Lennon's novel is original and unique. By contrasting the familiar, unjust world of today with the less familiar, unjust world of the past, Lennon creates a seamless, engaging, and emotional read.
Character Development: The characters in The Titchfield Turnabout are believable, distinct, and well-developed. Readers will root for the young heroes to overcome their situation, as well as their own mistakes and doubts.
Date Submitted: August 28, 2017