In the Garden of Iden: A Novel of the Company

Kage Baker, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $23 (336p) ISBN 978-0-15-100299-3
Looking for a lost plant, an immortal, nearly 1000-year-old botanist returns to the 16th century from the 24th in this lively debut. On her first trip back through time, Mendoza lands in the England of 1554, just after the accession of Mary Tudor, aka Bloody Mary. Her mission: to prevent the extinction of a strain of holly that can be used in the 24th century as a cancer cure. In the past, Mendoza encounters religious persecution, flaws in her disguise and, most dangerous of all, affection for a 16th-century mortal male. She escapes these perils in a way that strongly suggests this book may be the first in a series. Which is indeed good news, since Baker's characterizations are robust and detailed, as is her development of the historical setting. Her pacing is too breezy, however, and the book's premise unusually far-fetched. Dedicated aficionados of time-travel stories will certainly find this an agreeable read, while others will recognize in Baker a fantasist of considerable promise. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1998
Release date: 02/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-29265-8
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