Thomas Legendre is the author of The Burning—longlisted for the Warwick Prize for Writing—as well as Half Life, a play performed as part of NVA’s art installation of the same name in conjunction with the National Theatre of Scotland, and the radio drama Dream Repair, aired by BBC4. He is an assistant professor at the University of Nottingham.
photo credit: Connie McGovern
A crumbling marriage. An ancient mystery. And a way to change the past . . .
When archaeologist Aaron Keeler finds himself transported back eighteen years, he becomes swept up in a strangely illicit liaison with his younger wife. A brilliant musician, Violet is captivated by the attentive, “weathered” version of her husband. The Aaron she recently married—an American expat—has become distant, absorbed by his excavation of a prehistoric site at Kilmartin Glen on Scotland’s west coast, where he will soon make the discovery that launches his career.
As Aaron travels back and forth across the span of nearly two decades, with time passing in both worlds, he faces a threat to his revelatory dig, a crisis with the older Violet—mother of his two young children—and a sudden deterioration of his health. Meanwhile, Violet’s musical performances take on a resonance related to the secrets the two are uncovering in both time frames. With their children and Aaron’s lives at risk, he and Violet try to repair the damage before it’s too late.
304 pp., 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
ISBN 978-1-946724-28-1 (pbk)
ISBN 978-1-946724-29-8 (e-book)
PRAISE FOR KEEPING TIME
“Keeping Time is a rich novel that explores the nature of a marriage and asks whether love is a monolith, a miracle of biology, or an artificial construct.” —Claire Foster, Foreword Reviews
“A rich and compelling novel with a time-travelling dual narrative.” —Lynsey May, The List
“Thomas Legendre’s novel Keeping Time, new from Acre Books, is a liquid-prosed, dual-narrated time-travel romance. . . The question that haunts Keeping Time is less intellectual than personal, rooted in the specific character of Aaron and Violet and the troubled, passionate dynamic between them, because what kind of circle is this marriage, exactly, one floating serenely in stable orbit, one spiraling outwards into space—one circling the drain? Keeping Time succeeds as a novel by involving you in the contortionist pretzel that is a marriage in conflict.” — John McConnell, Hindsight Magazine
“An intelligent and compelling novel. The story’s concerns with the lure of the past and the tensions between past and present are beautifully echoed in Aaron and Violet’s respective obsessions as archaeologist and musician, as well as in the dynamic between them as a couple. This complex exploration of time and the connections between worlds resonates beyond its reading.” —Alison Moore, author of The Lighthouse