Departure Time

Departure Time is the amazing journey of a girl in two stories. The girl in the hotel with the fox and the rat, and the girl whose father travels a lot, who suggests they write a story together, a story about talking animals. She doe sn’t wan to. She is angry with him, because he can’t make it home in time for her birthday.

2 thoughts on “Departure Time

  1. Breshaun Joyner says:

    The first dramatic action in Departure Time is a lost young girl entering a dilapidated hotel in a rainstorm. The neon sign atop the hotel flashes only the letters H, E, and L (L flashes twice), indicating that perhaps this may not be the most wholesome place for a child. Well it’s either hell or the girl has gone through the looking glass because the first thing she sees upon entering the hotel is a fox and a rat that are roughly the same size as her. And they speak.

    Thus begins this tale of how to find the way back home, literally and figuratively. There are actually two tales interwoven in this book. The girl we meet on the first page and another girl who lives with her mother and musician father who is often traveling with his band. The stories though initially dissimilar, begin to merge as elements from one-story answers questions posed in the other. It is these hints or clues at how and why these stories are related that propels the reader towards wanting to know how the stories will eventually converge. The desire to know how this plays out compels the reader to keep turning the page. What is simultaneously frustrating and exciting is that the book reads like trying to put a puzzle together without knowing what the picture on the puzzle box looks like.

    The first girl has a sort of amnesia. She does not know her name, where she is from, or how she got to the hotel. She is a person without an identity. She embraces her situation however and decides to make the best of it by assisting the fox and rat. She gives them first names that ignite a sense of purpose in them. The fox works hard and succeeds at becoming a good cook. The rat becomes feverishly single minded about fixing the broken down bus. This nameless girl is just what they have been waiting for but although she may be their savior, what is in store for her?

    The second girl is fueled by the love for her father but is also driven to a childlike fury when he breaks his promise to return home for her eleventh birthday. She sends him a letter that expresses her inconsolable anger and disappointment. We later learn that timing is everything especially when our last words to someone we love is of hate. The guilt that threatens to consume the second girl is the catalyst for the fugue state of the first girl and a third girl that emerges as a mystery guest at the hotel. It is at this point that the possibility that there are multiple realities embodied in a single character is presented and therefore becomes part of the unfolding mystery.

    Departure Time is worth a second read if only to catch all the nuances of this intricate, complicated and engaging book.

  2. Paula M. Mintle says:

    In the book,Departure Time, there were alot of twists and turns in this realistic fantasy. There were animal talking characters. The main character, Mouse, had family members that had bird names. Mr. Malokoff was a musician who had an interest in music books.There were two story lines that eventually connected. I was uncertain at times that what keep the interest ignited to find out what was going to happen.

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